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Copyright, 1895, 
By The Christian Literature Company. 

• { { 


The peculiar pagination is due to the work first appearing as a portion of vol. xii., Ameri- 
can Church Historj- Series. (Vide p. 310.) 


CHAP. I. — Beginnings in Engla.Vd.— George Fox.— Early Mis- 
sionaries. — Margaret Fell. — "The Inner Light." — Women as 
Preachers 183 

CHAP. n. — Discipline and Doctrine. — John Perrot. — Meetings for 
Discipline. — Declaration of Faith, 1693. — The Holy Scriptures. — 
Sufferings of Friends 106 

CHAP. III. — Early Years in America. — Persecution in Massachu- 
setts. — The Friends in Rhode Island. — Dispute with Roger Will- 
iams. — The Friends in New Netherlands. — George Fox on Long 
Island. — The Friends in Virginia. — The Friends in Maryland. — 
The Friends in New Jersey. — The Friends in the Carolinas. — 
Pennsylvania. — The Keith Schism 206 

CHAP. IV. — The Eighteenth Century.— The Discipline.— Middle 
Ages of Quakerism. — Treatment of the Indians. — Early Friends 
and Slavery. — Emancipation of Slaves. — Friends and the Revolu- 
tion 235 

CHAP. V. — Divisions During the Nineteenth Century. — Elias 
Hicks. — Orthodox Party. — Elias Hicks and the Elders. — Yearly 
Meeting of 1827. — The Separation of 1827. — The Separation of 
1827-28. — Joseph John Gurney. — J. J. Gurney and J. Wilbur. — 
Wilburite Separations. — The Wilburites 248 

CHAP. VI. — Period of Reorganization — Further Progress. — 
Lucretia Mott. — Educational Institutions. — The Hicksite Body. — 
The Orthodox. — Friends and Slavery. — ^John Greenleaf Whittier. 
— The Civil War. — Friends and the Indians. — The Modocs.— 
Philanthropic Efforts. — Haverford College 273 

CHAP. VII.— Later Years. — Causes of Declension. — Reawakening. 

—Conference of 1887. — Conference of 1892. — Foreign Missions . . 297 



1. Bibliographies, and Manuscript Collections dating from the 
Seventeenth Century. 

Smith, Joseph, Descriptive Catalogue of Friends' Books. Two vols. Lon- 
don, Joseph Smith, 1867; Supplement, London, Edward Hicks & Co., 

Smith, Joseph, Bibliotheca Anti-Quakeriana : A Catalogue of Books 
Adverse to the Society of Friends. London, Joseph Smith, 1873. 

Manuscript Collections : 

The London Yearly Meeting, at its depository, 12 Bishopsgate Street 
Without, London, England, has an unrivaled collection of manuscripts illus- 
trating the early history of the Society. The Swarthmoor papers are often 
indorsed in George Fox's handwriting. The official records are very com- 
plete, reaching from the seventeenth century to the present time. 

Re'cords relating to New England are at Sandwich and New Bedford, 
Mass., and at Friends' School, Providence, R. I. The Records relating to 
New York are much scattered. At Friends' Library, Philadelphia, there 
are many records relating to Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Records of 
Baltimore Yearly Meeting previous to 1828 are at the Meetmg-House 
(Hicksite), Baltimore, Md., where they, like those at Philadelphia, are -ad- 
mirably cared for ; the Records of Virginia Yearly Meeting are in the posses- 
sion of the Orthodox Friends of Baltimore, Md. The Records of North 
Carolina Yearly Meeting are at Guilford College, North Carolina. 

Manuscript Records : 

Records of Sandwich, Mass., Monthly and Quarterly Meetings begin- 
ning 1672. 
Records of Virginia Yearly Meeting beginning 1673. 
Records of Burlington, N. J., Monthly Meeting beginnmg 1678, 
Records of Perquimans, N. C, Quarterly Meeting beginning 1679. 

II. Printed Collections, Etc. 
Connecticut, Records of 1636-63- Edited by J. H. Trumbull. Hartford, 
Brown & Parsons, 1850. n j- /• 

^Maryland, Archives of Edited by Wm. Hand V,xo\vriQ.— Proceedings oj 
the Council 1636-67, 168718-1693; Proceedings of the Assembly 1666-76. 
Baltimore, 1884-90. 
^Massachusetts Bay, Records of Edited by N. B. Shurtleff, vols, ni.-v. 
Boston, 1854. 

* These are State publications. 


* New Jersey, State of, Doctoiients of the Colonial History of. Vol. i., edited 

by William A. Whitehead. Newark, N. J., 1880. 
*Neru Vor/e, DocHvie)its relative to the Colonial History of. Thirteen vols. 

Edited by E. B. O'Callaghan. Albany, 1856-61. 
*Pen}isylvania, Colonial Records. Sixteen vols. Harrisburg, 1851-53. — 

Archives. Six vols. Philadelphia, 1852-53. — Archives. 2d Series, 

12 vols. Harrisburg, 1874-80. 

III. Printed Sources and Books Written from the Sources. 

Adams, Brooks, The Emancipation of Massachusetts. Boston and New 
York, Houghton, Mifflin cS: Co., 1887. 

Adams, Charles Francis, A/assachnsetts, its Historians and its History. 
Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1893. 

Bancroft, George, History of the United States of America. Six vols. 
Author's last revision. New York, D. Appleton & Co., 1886. 

Barclay, A. R. (Editor), Letters, etc., of Early Friends. London, Har- 
vey & Darton, 1841. 

Barclay, Robert (of our day), The Inner Life of the Religious Societies of 
the Commomoealth Considered Principally ivith Reference to the Influ- 
ence of Church Organization on the Spread of Christianity. London, 
Hodder & Stoughton, 1876: 2d ed., 1877; 3d ed., 1879. (The second 
and third editions are exact reprints of the first with the exception of the 
correction of one slight error.) 

Baylie, Robert, .-/ Dissuasive from the Errours of the Times. London, 
printed for Samuel Gellibrand, 1645. 

Beck, William, The Friends. London, Edward Hicks, Jr., 1893. 

Beck, William, and T. Frederick Ball, The London Friends' Meetings. 
London, F. Bowyer Kitto, 1869. 

Besse, Joseph, Sufferings of the Quakers. Two vols. London, Luke 
Hinde, 1753. 

Bishope, George, iVew-England Judged, etc. London, printed and sold 
by T. Sowle, 1703. 

Bowden, James, The History of the Society of Friends in America. Two 
vols. London, Alfred W. Bennett, 1850-54. 

Bownas, Samuel, An Account of the Life, Travels, etc., of. London, Luke 
Hinde, 1756; 2d ed., James Phillips, 1795. 

Braithwaite, Joseph Bevan, Memoirs of Joseph John Gumey, etc. Two 
vols. Philadelphia, Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1854. 

Burnyeat, John, The Truth Exalted. London, printed for Thomas 
Northcott, 1691. 

Comly, John, Journal of the Life and Religious Labors of. Philadelphia, 
T. Ellwood Chapman, 1853. 

Croese, Gerard, General History of the Quakers. London, John Dunton, 
1696 ; originally published in Latin, Amstelodami, Apud Henricum & 
Viduam Theodori Boom, 1675. An abstract of the translation is in 
Crouch's " Posthuma Christiana." 

Crouch, William, Posthuma Christiana, or a Collection of Papers, being a 
brief Historical Account, etc., with Remarks on Sundry Memorable 
Transactions relating to the People called Quakers. London, Assigns of 
J. Sowle, 1 712. 

* These are State publications. 


Dixon, Williain Hepworth, History of IVilliam Pcnn, Founder of Penn- 
sylvania. London, Chapman & Hall, 185 1 ; 3d ed.. Hurst & Blackett, 

Edmundson, Williain, Journal of ihc Life, Travels, ete., of. Dublin, Sam- 
uel Fairbrother, 1715. 

Edwards, Thomas, Tlie First and Seeond Part of Gangnena. London, 
3d ed., printed for Ralph Smith, 1646. 

Ellwood, Thomas, History of tJie Life of [an Autobiography]. London, 
Assigns of J. Sowle, 1714. [Boston, Jas. R. Osgood & Co., 1877.] 

Evans, William and Thomas, The Friends' Lilnnry, comprising Jour- 
nals, Doctrinal Treatises, and other Writings of Members of the Keligioics 
Society of Friends. Fourteen vols. Philadelphia, printed for the Editors 
by Joseph Rakestraw, 1837-50. 

Exiles in Virginia, ivith Observations on the Conditct of tJie Society of Friends 
dnrljig the Revolutionary War, etc. Philadelphia, published for the 
Subscribers, 1848. 

Fox, George, A Journal or Historical Account of the Life, Travels, Suffer- 
ings, Cliristian Experiences, and Labour of Lo'je in the Work of the IMinisr 
try of that Ancient, Eminent, and Faithful Servant of Jesus Christ, 
George Fox, who departed this life in great peace with the Lord, the 
ijth day of the nth month, ibgo. The first volume, etc., London, 
Thomas Northcott, 1694. (Folio, the ist ed., one of the earliest im- 

Note. — This volume is called " the first volume," the second being 
the one described in the next entry. 

Fox, George, A Collection of many Select and Christian Epistles, Letters, 
and Testinuniies, Written on sundry Occasions by that Ancient, Eminent, 
Faithful Friend and Minister of Christ Jesus, George Fox. The 
second volume, etc. London, J. Sowle, 1698. (Folio, the ist ed.) 

Fox, George, Gospel Truth Detnotistrated in a Collection of Doctrinal 
Books, Given forth by that Faithful Minister of Jesus Christ, George 
Fox, Containing Principles Essential to Christianity and Salvation, 
held among the People called Qvakers, etc. London, J. Sowle, 1706. 
(Folio, the ist ed.) (Called the third volume.) 

Friend, The : A Religions and Literary Journal. Philadelphia, Office of 
" The Friend," 1827 sqq. 

Gough, John, History of the People called Qiuikers. Four vols. Dublin, 
Robert Jackson, 1790. 

Hallowell, Richard P., The Pioneer Quakei's. Boston and New York, 
Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1887. 

Hallowell, Richard P., The Quaker Invasion of Massachusetts. Boston 
and New York, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 4th ed., 1887; ist ed., 1883. 

Hicks, Elias, Journal of the Life and Religious Labors of. Philadelphia, 
1828; 5th ed., New York, Isaac T. Hopper, 1832. 

Hicks, Elias and Edward, Sermons delivered by, in FViends^ Meetings, 
A^ew York, in j;th Month, 1S2J, taken in shorthand by L. H. Clarke and 
T. C. Gould, stenographers. New York, sold by J. V. Shearman, 1825. 

Hicks, Rachel, Life, Written by Herself. New York, G. P. Putnam's 
Sons, 1890. 

Hodgson, William, The Society of Friends in the Nineteenth Centmy : A 
Historical Vie-w of the Successive Convulsions and Schisms therein during 


the Period. Two vols. Philadelphia, for sale by Smith, English & Co., 

Howgil, Francis, Dawnings of the Gospel Day, etc. London (no pub- 
lisher), 1672. 

Hutchinson, Mr, [Thomas], History of Massachusetts Bay, etc. Two 
vols. Boston, New England, 1764-67; 2d ed., London, M. Richard- 
son, 1765-68. 

Janney, Samuel M., History of the Religious Society of Friejuis, from, the 
Rise to the year 1828. Four vols. Philadelphia, T. Ellwood Zell, 1859- 
67; 2d ed., 1867. 

Janney, Samuel M., The Life of William Peiin, linth Selections from his 
Correspondence a)id Autobiography. Philadelphia, Lippincott, Grambo & 
Co., 1st ed., 1851; 2d ed., rev., 1852. 

Johns Hopkins U^iiversity Studies i}t History ami Political Science. Tenth 
Series " Church and State," Baltimore, 1892. 

Long Island Historical Society, Memoirs of the. Vol. i. , " Journal of a Voy- 
age to New York in 1679-S0. " [Jasper Bankers and Peter Sluyter.] 
Brooklyn, published by the Society, 1867. 

Magill, Edward H., Education in the Religious Society of Friends. Phila- 
delphia, Friends' Book Association, 1893. 

Marsden, J. B., Ilistoiy of the Early Puritans [to 1642]. London, Ham- 
ilton, .\dams & Co., 1850; 2d ed., 1853. 

Marsden, J. B., History of the Later Puritans [to 1662]. London, Ham- 
ilton, Adams & Co., 1852; 2d ed., 1854. 

Marshall, Charles, Journal, Epistles, etc. London, Richard Barrett, 1844. 

Maule, Joshua, Transactions and Changes in the Society of Friends. 
Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1886. 

Michener, Ezra A., Retrospect of Early Quakerism. Philadelphia, T. Ell- 
wood Zell, i860. 

Mott, James and LiUCretia, Life and Letters of Edited by their grand- 
daughter, Anna Davis Hallowell. Boston, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1884. 

Neal, Daniel, History of N'ew England. Two vols. London, J. Clark, 

^Teill, Edward D., The English Colonization of America during the Seven- 
teenth Century. London, Strahan, 1871. 

Neill, Edward i).. The Founders of Maryland. Albany, Joel Munsell, 

Neill, Edward D., Virginia Carolorum. Albany, N. Y., Joel Munsell's 
Sons, 1886. 

O'Callaghan, E. B., Documentary History of New York. Four vols. 
Albany, Weed, Parsons & Co., 1850. 

Penn, William, A Collection of the Works of . Two vols. London, Assigns 
of J. Sowle, 1726. 

Penn, William, Preface to George Fox's "Journal," afterward reprinted 
in many editions as Rise and Progress of tJie People called Quakers. 
See list of Doctrinal Works. 

Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. Vols, i.-xvii. Phila- 
delphia, Pennsylvania Historical Society, 1877-94. 

Proud, Robert, History of Pennsylvania in North America from 1681 till 
after the year 1^42, etc. Two vols. Philadelphia, Zachariah Poulson, 


Rowntree, John Stephenson, Quakerisin Past and Present. London, 
Smith, Elder & Co., 1859. 

Rutty, John, A Tiratise Concerning Christian Discipline, etc. [Dublin?], 
printed in the year 1752. 

Seebohm, Benjamin, Memoirs of M'iUiam Forster. Two vols. London, 
Alfred W. Bennett, 1865. 

Seebohm, Benjamin, Memoirs of the Life and Gospel Labors of Stephen 
Grellet. Two vols. London, Alfred W. Bennett, i860; 3d ed., 1862. 
[Philadelphia, H. Longstreth, 1868.] 

Sewel, William, The History of the Rise, Increase, and Progress of the 
Christian People called Quakers. Intermixed with several remarkable 
occurrences written originally in Low Dutch, and also translated into 
English [by the author]. The second edition corrected. London, As- 
signs of ]. Sowle, 1725. (Reprinted in many editions.) 

Smith, Samuel, llie History of the Colo7iy of Xova Cccsaria, or A'ew Jersey , 
etc. Burlington, James Parker, 1765. Reprinted (2ded. ), 1877. 

Speakman, Thomas, Divisions iti the Society of Friends. Philadelphia, 
J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1869; 2d ed. enlarged, 1893. 

Story, Thomas, Journal of the Life of. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Isaac 
Thompson & Co., 1747. 

Taylor, John, Mevwir of. London, J. Sowle, 1710; reprinted, York, W. 
Alexander & Son, 1 830. 

Turner, Fredei'ick Storrs, The Quakers. London, Swan Sonnenschein & 
Co., 1889. 

"Webb, Maria, 77ie Fells of Swarthmoor Hall. London, T. Bowyer Kitto, 
1865: 2d ed., 1867. 

Webb, Maria, Penns and Peningtons of the Seventeenth Century. Lon- 
don, F. Bowyer Kitto, 1867. 

Westcott, Brooke Foss, Social Aspects of Christiajtity. London and 
Cambridge, Macmillan & Co., 1887. 

Whitehead, William A., East Jersey tinder the Proprietary Governments. 
1846; 2d ed., revised and enlarged, Newark, N. J., Martin R. Dennis, 


Whittier, John Greenleaf, The Journal of John JVoolman, with an In- 
troduction. Boston, Jas. R. Osgood & Co., 1876. 

Wilbur, John, Journal of, etc. Providence, Geo. H. Whitney, 1859. 

Wilson,, Journal of the Life, Travels, etc., of. Dublin, Samuel 
Fuller, 1728. 

Winsor, Justin, N'arrative and Critical History of America. Eight vols. 
Boston, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1886-89. 

Woolman, John, Journal of Dublin, R. Jackson, 1776. (See Whittier, 
Jno. G.) 

IV. Doctrinal, Controversial, Etc. 

An Address from Rhode Island Quarterly Meeting of Friends to the mem- 
bers of that Religious Society within the limits of N^ew England Yearly 
Meeting. New York, Percy & Reed, 1845. 

An Appeal for the Ancient Doctrines of the Religious Society of Friends. 
Published by the direction of the Yearly Meeting held in Philadelphia, 
in the Fourth Month, 1847. Addressed to its members. Philadelphia, 
printed by Joseph Kite & Co., 1847. 


Barclay, Robert, An Apology for the Ti'ue Christian Divinity as the same 
is held foi'tk and preached by the People called in Scorn Quakers, etc. 
In Latin, Amsterdam, Jacob Claus, 1676; ist ed. in English [Aber- 
deen?],. 1678. 

Christian Discipline of the Society of Friends in Great Britain, etc. London, 
Samuel Harris & Co., 1883 (now Edward Hicks, Jr., 14 Bishopsgate 
Street Without). 

A Co)ifession of Faith in the most necessary things of Christiafi Doctrine, 
Faith, and Practice according to the Testimony of Holy Scriptures. Given 
forth from the Yearly Meeting at Burlington the jth ofjth Moneth, i6g2, 
by the despised Christian People called Quakers. Printed and sold by 
William Bradford in Philadelphia, 1693. (2d ed. ) 

Crewdson, Isaac, A Beacon to the Society of Friends. London, Hamilton, 
Adams & Co., 1835. 

A Declaration of N'eiv England Yearly Meeting of Friends tipon various 
Christian Doctrines, etc. Providence, Knowles & Vose, 1845. 

Epistles from the Yearly Aleeting of Friends held in London, to the Quarterly 
and Monthly Meetings in Great Britain, Ireland, and elsetuhere, from 
ibSi to i8jY inclusive. With an Historical Introduction, and a chapter 
comprising some of the early Epistles and Records of the Yearly Meet- 
ing. In two volumes. London, Edward Marsh, 1858 (now Edward 
Hicks, Jr., 14 Bishopsgate Street Without). 

An Epistolary Declaration and Testimony of the Yearly Aleeting of Friends 
for New England respecting the Proceedings of those zuho have effected a 
Separation therein, etc. Providence, B. A. Moore, 1845. 

Evans, Thomas, Exposition of the Faith of the Society of Friends. Phila- 
delphia, Kimber & Sharpless, 1827. (Frequently reprinted, Friends' 
Book-store, Philadelpliia. ) See also Friends' Library, Introduction, 
vol. i., p. i. and pp. 109-141. 

Grurney, Joseph. John, Obsciimtions on the Distinguishing Views and 
Practices of the Society of Friends. London, Gilpin, 1824; 7th ed., 
Darton & Harvey, 1834. 

Letters and Obsen'ations relating to the Controversv respecting the Doctrine of 
Elias Hicks. Containing a review of his letter to Dr. N. Shoemaker. 
3d edition revised. Printed for the Reader, 1824. 

Narrative of Facts and Circiunstances that have tended to produce a Secession 
from the Society of Friends in Nezu England Yearly Aleeting. Provi- 
dence, Knowles & Vose, 1845. Also Strictures on the above by the Meet- 
ing of Sufferings of N'ew England Yearly Aleeting. 1845. 

Penn, William, The Rise ami Progress of the People called Quakers, in 
zvhich their Fundamental Principles, Doctrines, Worship, Aliiiist^y, and 
Discipli)ie are plainly stated, etc. 7th ed., London, 1769. 

(Originally published as the preface to George Fox's "Journal." 
Many editions, e.g., Friends' Book-store, Philadelphia, 1865.) 

Proceedings, incbuiing Declaratiofi of Christian Doctrine, of the General 
Conference of Friends held in Richmond, Indiana, U. S. A., i88y. 
Published by direction of the Conference. Richmond, Ind., Nichol- 
son & Bro., 1887. 

Proceedings of a Conference of Friends of America held in Indianapolis, 
Indiana. Published by direction of the Conference. Richmond, Ind., 
Nicholson & Bro., 1892. 


A Summary of Some of the Doctrines and Testimonies of the People of God or 
Friends (called Quakers). Prepared and published by Abraham Law- 
ton, Joseph Bancroft, and Evan T. Flinn. Thos. W. Stuckey, printer 

V. Legal Trials and Decisions. 

Bancroft, Sidney C, Report of some of the Proceedings in the case of Oliver 
Earle and others, in Equity against William Wood and others in the 
Supreme Court of the Com?)ionwealth of Alassaclnisetts, including the 
opinion of the Court as pronounced, Lemuel Shaw, C.-J., etc. Boston, 
Little, Brown & Co., 1855. 

Foster, Jeremiah J., Ati Authentic Report of the Testimony in a cause at 
issue in the Court of Chancery of the State cf N'ew Jersey, betzveen Thomas 
L. Shot7C'ell, Complainant, and Joseph Hendrickson and Stacy Decow, 
Defendants. Two vols. Philadelphia, J. Harding, 1831. 

A Full Report of the Case of Stacy Deco%v attd Joseph Hendrickson vs. Thomas 
L. Shotwell, decided at a Special Term of the New Jersey Court of Ap- 
peals, held at Trentoji iit July and August, 1833, embracing the decision 
of the Court of Chancery from tvhich the Appeal was made, the argu- 
ments of the Counsel on each side, and the Final Decision of the Court of 
Appeals. Taken dcnon in shorthand by competent reporters, aizd revised 
by the respective counsel. Philadelphia, P. J. Gray, 1834. 


Braitli"waite, J. B., Bi- Centenary of the Death of George Fox. Friends' 
Book and Tract Depot, 14 Bishopsgate Street, Without, London, 1891. 

Friends'" Miscellany. Eilited by John and Isaac Comly. Twelve vols. 
Philadelphia, 1831-39. 

Sicks, Elias, A Series of Extemporaneotis Discourses delivered in Phila- 
delphia, etc. Philadelpliia, Joseph & Edward Parker, 1825. (These are 
referred to in the following sketch as- " Philadelphia Sermons.") 


The following sketch of the history and doctrines of 
the Society of Friends in America is based on an inde- 
pendent examination of original records, documents, con- 
temporary histories, journals, and other materials. To 
compress the history of two hundred and fifty years into 
less than one hundred and fifty pages has been no easy 
task ; and while great care has been taken to omit nothing 
of supreme importance, it is altogether likely that omis- 
sions will be found more or less serious. It is believed, 
however, that the account fairly represents the main lines 
of a remarkably eventful history. 

In describing the various divisions which have occurred 
in the Society the aim has been to be impartial and, so far 
as practicable, let each side speak for itself. If any feel 
themselves not fully represented, indulgence is craved for 
unintentional shortcoming. 

To those who have so kindly rendered aid in furnishing 

information and materials for use in the preparation of 

this sketch a grateful acknowledgment is due. 

Haverford, Pa., 
Fourth month, 1894. 





[In the following sketch the titles adopted in the United States Census of 
1890 are used to distinguish the various divisions of the body calling itself 
by the name of " Friends," as " Orthodox," " Hicksites," " Wilburites," 
and " Primitive." These terms are used simply for the sake of distinction, 
and with no invidious meaning.] 

The Society of Friends in the United States and Can- 
ada is composed of Yearly Meetings, of which the Ortho- 
dox have thirteen, the Hicksites seven, and the Wilburites 
six. As the organization is essentially the same in all, 
they may be considered together. Each Yearly Meeting, 
as its name implies, meets annually, and exercises a juris- 
diction over a certain amount of territory. The geographi- 
cal extent of each varies, but altogether they include the 
whole territory on the continent, and all Friends belong 
to some one of the Yearly Meetings with the exception of 
the small bodies, styled " Primitive," which form inde- 
pendent congregations.^ On all matters relating to faith 

1 The Orthodox Yearly Meetings are (1894) : New England, New York, 
Canada, Philadelphia, Baltimore, North Carolina, Ohio, Wilmington (O.), 
Indiana, Western (Ind.), Iowa, Kansas, Oregon. The Hicksite Yearly 
Meetings are: New York, Genesee (N. Y. ), Philadelphia, Baltimore, Ohio, 
Indiana, Illinois. The Wilburite Yearly Meetings are: New England, 
Canada, Ohio, Western (Ind.), Iowa, and Kansas. 




and practice each Yearly Meeting is independent of all the 
rest, nor is it amenable to the others, either singly or com- 
bined. On rare occasions one Yearly Meeting may ask 
advice and assistance of others.^ In the very early days, 
London Yearly Meeting was regarded in a rather indefinite 
way as a court of appeal, but voluntarily relinquished that 
position. It continues to send, in addition to the special 
" epistles " to the Orthodox Yearly Meetings, one that is 
known as the " London General Epistle," which is read in 
all the Yearly Meetings, but which is simply a message of 
Christian greeting. English Friends at times of dissension 
and separation have sometimes endeavored by friendly 
mediation to settle the difficulties. 

The Yearly Meetings are not isolated from one another, 
but are united in various ways, (i) A member in one place 
is received as a member everywhere else by his own branch 
of the Society, and if he brings suitable official letters wnth 
him becomes an active member of the meeting to which 
he removes. (2) A minister if he removes into the limits 
of another Yearly Meeting is, on presenting the proper 
credentials, received, without further action, as a full min- 
ister.^ (3) Ministers of one Yearly Meeting, who feel it 
right to travel and labor as preachers elsewhere, are re- 
ceived, if presenting proper credentials, without transfer of 
their membership, and are assisted in their work, they for 
the time being putting themselves under the authority of 
the meetings where they happen to be. (4) Each Yearly 
Meeting sends to all the others belonging to its section 
of the Society every year an "epistle" expressing Chris- 

1 For example, Virginia Yearly Meeting when it had become depleted by 
emigration consulted Philadelphia, Baltimore, and North Carolina, and on 
their advice united itself with Baltimore Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) in 1845. 
A number of other cases of less importance have occurred. 

^ By comparatively recent action Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) 
inust be excepted from this statement. 


tian sympathy and giving .information as to its work. 
This method of correspondence is, we believe, unique, and 
has played an important part in the history of the denom- 
ination. When separations have occurred in one Yearly 
Meeting and both divisions send out epistles to the other 
Yearly Meetings, each of them decides which division to 
recognize ; and whichever one is recognized has its epistle 
read and answered. By an unfortunate logical strictness 
the result of this has been that, if two Yearly Meetings 
having such a question before them should reach different 
conclusions, this alone has been considered sufficient reason 
for discontinuing correspondence with each other, for cor- 
respondence has been interpreted to mean indorsement of 
the position held, at least on Inter- Yearly Meeting matters.^ 
(5) There are various Inter- Yearly Meeting organizations 
officially recognized. Thus the Hicksites have their Union 
for Philanthropic Labor, and on Indian Affairs, and the 
Orthodox have their Associated Committee on Indian 
Affairs, the Peace Association of Friends in America, and 
are forming a Foreign Mission Board. (6) Delegated ad- 
visory conferences are held. Of these the Orthodox have 
held several, and it seems probable that they will here- 
after hold them once in every five years, though eacli 
Yearly Meeting will be at liberty not to send delegates 
without interfering with its regular intercourse.- We be- 
lieve that no stated conferences referring to the general 
condition and work of the Society have been held by the 
other branches of Friends. (7) The visits of ministers and 
other members of one Yearly Meeting to other Yearly 
Meetings during their sessions is a very strong practical 

1 It has been on tliis ground that the correspondence lietween Philadelphia 
Yearly Meeting and other Yearly Meetings has ceased. 

2 Thus in 1892 Canada Yearly Meeting declined to take part in the In- 
dianapolis Conference, but this action has not put it out of harmony with the 


bond of unity. (8) Among the Orthodox, whenever a 
new Yearly Meeting is to be established the Yearly 
Meeting proposing the action asks the consent of the 

Each Yearly Meeting prepares and adopts its own Book 
of Discipline for the regulation of its own meetings and 
members. There is a very close resemblance between 
these Disciplines taken as a whole, though there are also 
wide divergencies. 

The Yearly Meeting is the unit of authority in the So- 
ciety ; to it belongs every man, woman, and child who is 
counted in its membership. Every one of these has an 
equal right to speak on any matter that may be before the 
meeting, for it is not a delegated body. It is true that 
the meetings immediately next to it in rank send repre- 
sentatives (sometimes called delegates), but this is simply 
to insure a representation from the various quarters. Cer- 
tain duties, such as the nomination of the chief officers for 
the year, devolve upon the representatives, and any mat- 
ters may be referred to them as a convenient committee 
by the meeting at large. The meetings are organized by 
the appointment of a clerk and assistants. There is no 
president. The clerk combines the presiding officer and 
secretary in himself, but the discussions are not conducted 
on parliamentary rules. A subject is introduced and freely 
discussed, and at the conclusion the clerk draws up what 
he believes to be the general judgment of the meeting as 
developed by the discussion, and reads it to the meeting, 
and if it is approved it is recorded as the decision. No 
vote is taken, for the feeling is that in spiritual matters 
majorities are not safe guides, and among Friends the de- 
cision oftener turns upon the sentiments expressed by the 
more experienced and spiritually-minded members than 
upon the actual number of voices, though of course num- 


bers have weight. The belief is that the guidance of the 
Lord is to be realized and followed in the business meeting, 
and there is therefore an entire absence of evidences of 
applause, or of motions and counter-motions. The prac- 
tical result of this system is conservative, for the theory is 
that, so far as possible, any new step shall be taken as 
the united action of the meeting ; and if a reasonable num- 
ber, even though a minority, be dissatisfied with a proposi- 
tion, it is either dropped or modified, the effort being to 
convince but not to force.' Nearly all the separations 
that have occurred have been due to the neglect of this 

The position of women is one of absolute equality with 
men.^ In some cases the sessions are held with the men 
and women meeting together, in others separately. When 
the latter prevails, the propositions adopted by one meet- 
ing are sent for approval to the other, where they may be 
rejected or adopted. 

It is competent for a Yearly Meeting at any given year 
to make any change in its Discipline, though it is custom- 
ary to appoint a committee to consider important changes 
for a year and then report. The decisions of the Yearly 
Meeting are binding on all the meetings within the limits 
of its jurisdiction. It is also the only authoritative in- 
terpreter of the Discipline, and the final court of appeal. 
During its recess it is represented by an executive com- 
mittee called the representative meeting,^ meeting at stated 

1 In some of the Western Yearly Meetings methods somewhat, though 
not entirely, similar to parliamentary ones prevail. (True of Orthodox only.) 

2 This is not strictly correct as far as Philadelphia is concerned, and per- 
haps is not fully the case as regards the business of the church among the 
Wilburites or the Hicksites. 

3 This committee, owing to the fact that the first object of its appointment 
was to assist members who were suffering for their principles, was called 
for many years the " Meeting for Sufferings," a name still retained in a few 


times and upon special call. It has a few special duties, 
but is not alloVed in any way to interfere with or to en- 
force the discipline. 

In addition to this, the Yearly Meetings have standing 
committees on various subjects, such as peace, education, 
temperance, etc. The Orthodox bodies, with one or two 
exceptions, have also committees on home and foreign 
missions, evangelization, etc. 

Every Yearly Meeting is divided into quarterly meet- 
ings. These meet four times a year,^ and receive reports 
from the meetings which constitute them (monthly meet- 
ings). ^ A summary of these reports is made and forwarded 
to the Yearly -Meeting. As in the Yearly so in the 
quarterly meetings, every member is entitled to take part 
in the discussions, the same order of procedure prevailing 
in them as in the former. The quarterly meeting takes 
cognizance of the action of the monthly meeting, and can 
be appealed to whenever dissatisfaction is felt with the 
action of a lower meeting. Its assent is required for the 
establishment of any new meeting. When a new quarterly 
meeting is to be established, however, the consent of the 
Yearly Meeting is necessary. It appoints its own com- 
mittees on various lines of Christian work, and sends down 
word to the monthly meetings how much each meeting is 
expected to contribute toward the expenses of the Yearly 

The monthly meeting is the executive power so far as 
the membership is concerned, subject to appeal to the 
quarterly and Yearly meetings. In practical working, 
however, its acts are seldom criticised by its superior meet- 
ings, and its executive duties make it a most important 

I In some cases these meet but three times or even only twice a year, in 
which case they are called foMr-months meetings or half-year's meetings, 


body. It receives and on occasion can disown (i.e., expel) 
members, and it has the direct oversight of the congrega- 
tions composing it. Its organization is similar to that of 
other "business meetings or meetings for discipline" (as 
they are called in distinction to the " meetings for wor- 
ship "). In addition to this and its committees, its regular 
officers are elders and overseers. The duties of the former 
are, first, to encourage and counsel the ministers, and 
second, to have a Christian care over the membership. In 
some places they hold office for life or good behavior, in 
others for a term of years. They are appointed by the 
joint action of the monthly meeting and the quarterly 
meeting of ministers and elders, of which we shall speak 
presently. The overseers are (i) a committee to receive 
applications for admission before being presented to the 
monthly meeting. (2) Their duty is to be on the lookout 
for any in the meeting in need of spiritual or temporal aid. 
(3) They are to admonish ofTenders and endeavor to re- 
store them ; and if they fail in this, they are to report to 
the monthly meeting for its action. (4) In some localities, 
as in New England, they have special duties in regard to 
the holding of church property. (5) They prepare at 
stated times in the year answers to certain questions, 
called " queries," directed by the Discipline to be answered 
in order to show the condition of church life and progress. 
These answers are laid before the monthly or preparative 
meeting^ for emendation or approval, and to be forwarded 
to the superior meetings. They are appointed directly 
by the monthly meeting alone, and the length of their 
tenure of office varies in difTerent places. 

1 Preparative meetings are wholly subordinate to monthly meetings, and 
usually consist of but one meeting for worship. Their powers are small. 
When they exist it is chiefly for the purpose of sending answers to rfie que- 
ries -and appointing delegates to the monthly meeting. 


Ministers have not been referred to as regular officers. 
The reason of this has been that the organization is con- 
sidered complete, as an organization, without them. The 
Disciplines require the appointment of elders and overseers, 
but do not require that of ministers. There is no pro- 
vision in the Disciplines for their training at seminaries or 
otherwise. The theory is that the church recognizes when 
the gift and the qualification have been committed to a 
man or woman, and acknowledges it, after which he or 
she is called an " acknowledged," " recommended," or 
" recorded " minister. There is no ceremony of ordina- 
tion. The minister continues to follow his ordinary voca- 
tion, except when for the time being he is prevented from 
so doing by special religious service at home or abroad ; 
in such case, if his work has the approbation of the rneet- 
ing, his wants are supplied ; but as a minister he receives 
no salary.^ 

The acknowledgment, or recording, of a minister is 
accomplished as follows : A Friends' meeting for wor- 
ship is supposed to be held under the immediate direc- 
tion of the Spirit of Christ." The congregation meets in 
silence, with no prearrangement of service ; there is no 
stated length for any sermon, prayer, or exhortation, 
and often several persons, not necessarily ministers, take 
part during the same meeting. If any speak in a way 
that appears to lack the evidence of having a right call, it 
is the duty of the elders to admonish such ; if they speak 
with acceptance, the elders are to encourage and advise 
them. If one has spoken frequently and is seen to have a 
gift, it is acknowledged by the church and a record made 
of it ; the action is in this case, as in that of the elders, 
taken conjointly by the monthly meeting and the quarterly 

1 The custom in Uiis respect has been modified in some places among the 
Orthodox. 2 gee p. 202. 


meeting of ministers and elders. The minister is the only 
officer, if such he can be called, who is not affected by 
change of residence beyond the limits of the monthly 

It remains for us now to consider the constitution of 
the meeting of " ministers and elders," called also in many 
places the meeting on " ministry and oversight," and 
sometimes the "select meeting." In every Yearly Meet- 
ing the ministers and elders, in many places the overseers 
as well, and sometimes also persons appointed to sit with 
them, are required to meet together at regular times, 
generally every three months, to review the state of the 
membership and to consider the needs of the work, but 
W'ithout disciplinary powers. They are frequently the 
ones to propose a suitable person to the monthly meeting 
for acknowledgment as a minister. They also are re- 
quired to answer certain " queries " applying especially to 
them as to doctrine, life, and practice ; these are forwarded 
to a quarterly meeting of similar character, to which rep- 
resentatives are sent. This meeting is composed of the 
several monthly meetings on ministry and oversight within 
the limits of the ordinary quarterly meeting. It unites 
with the monthly meetings in the acknowledgment of 
ministers or appointment of elders, or, when need requires, 
in the removal of them from office. Once a year it for- 
wards its summary of the reports from its lower meetings 
to the Yearly Meeting on Ministry and Oversight. The 
only duty of this latter meeting beyond that of advice and 
recommendation is to sanction the action of the monthly 
and quarterly meetings (of the general membership), or to 

1 In some Yearly Meetings among tlie Orthodox certain doctrinal ques- 
tions are asked of the ministers and elders, and no one is allowed by disci- 
pline to hold office unless these can be satisfactorily answered. In other 
places these questions are regarded as an interference with personal 


refuse its sanction to consenting to ministers traveling on 
religious service beyond the seas. 

This brings us to a peculiarity of the Society of Friends, 
which is its arrangement for its ministers traveling. When 
a minister feels it right to go to a place more or less dis- 
tant to engage in some form of religious work, he asks 
the monthly meeting to which he belongs for liberty to 
go. When he expects to engage in a more extensive 
work it is required that he obtain the consent of the 
quarterly meeting as well. When the consent is obtained 
the clerks of the meetings give him a copy of the minute 
which states the action of the meeting. If the permission 
is refused, he is expected to remain at home. When he 
wishes to cross the ocean in his religious labor, the certifi- 
cate is not complete without the indorsement of the Yearly 
Meeting on Ministry and Oversight.^ The discipline re- 
quires that a committee be appointed to see that such are 
suitably provided with pecuniary means for defraying ex- 
penses, etc. 

Last in order, though first in importance, is the indi- 
vidual congregation known as the Meeting for Worship, 
the character of which is sufficiently described elsewhere."-^ 
Meetings are always held on the first day of the week, and 
usually on one week-day also. 

1 In North Carolina, and perhaps elsewhere, the consent of the Yearly 
Meeting at large must also be obtained. 

2 See pp. i8o, 202. 



Among the many denominations which appeared in 
England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, 
that time of religious upheaval, none is more striking than 
the Society of Friends. Though scarcely one of its doc- 
trines was absolutely new, yet the combination of so many 
radical tenets produced a remarkable factor in the religious 
economy of Christendom, the effects of which are only be- 
ginning to be appreciated. 

" England had been stunned for twenty years with re- 
ligious polemics. The forms of church government — pres- 
byterianism and prelacy — the claims of the independents 
and the clamors of the sectaries, the respective rights of 
the pastors and the people, were discussed in every pulpit, 
they distracted every parish and every house." ^ Torn by 
civil war, agitated with bitter theological disputes, full of 
men dissatisfied with church, with state, with almost every 
existing institution, England was indeed in a sad way. It 
was amid such surroundings, influenced by such currents 
of thought, out of such a hurly-burly, that the Society of 
Friends arose. 

The history of the early years of the Society is the his- 
tory of its founder. George Fox was born at Fenny Dray- 
ton, sometimes known as Drayton-in-the-Clay, Leicester- 
shire, July, 1624. "My father's name was Christopher 

1 J. B. Marsden, " History of the Later Puritans," 2cl ed., London, 1854, 
P- 235- 


1 84 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. i. 

Fox ; he was by profession a weaver, an honest man. . . . 
The neighbors called him Righteous Christen My mother 
was an upright woman ; her maiden name was Mary Lago, 
of the family of the Lagos, and of the stock of the mar- 
tyrs." ^ His youth " was endued with a gravity and stayed- 
ness of mind that is seldom seen in children." ^ 

Notwithstanding his sober and serious youth, he seems 
to have had no idea that he was to be called to any special 
work, and, as with many a man, a slight thing, apparently, 
proved the turning-point in his life. Being asked to drink 
healths by some young men who were " professors " of re- 
ligion, he was so grieved that such persons should act in 
this way that he threw down his share of the previous 
entertainment and went out of the room. A sleepless 
night followed, during which he believed he heard the call 
of the Lord summoning him to leave all things. He went 
from place to place seeking peace of mind ; once he says 
that " a strong temptation to despair came upon me, and 
then I saw how Christ was tempted, and mighty troubles 
I was in." He went from " priest to priest " to get help, 
but found them sorry comforters, for they did not see that 
he was one who needed spiritual food and enlightenment, 
not mental distraction. He remained more than a year in 
this state. At last, he writes, " about the beginning of 
the year 1646, as I was going to Coventry and entering 
toward the gate, a consideration arose in me how it was 
said that all Christians are believers, both Protestants and 
papists. And the Lord opened to me that if all were be- 
lievers, then were they all born of God and passed from 

1 "Journal" of George Fox, London, 1694, p. i. We hear little or 
nothing of George Fox's relatives except now and then he simply mentions 
visitmg them. (But see "Journal,'" pp. 390, 396.) Charles Marshall says, 
under date of " i ith month, 19th, 1671 " : "I went to see G. F.'s mother in 
Leicestershire." ("Journal" of Charles Marshall, London, 1844, p. 17.) 

2 William Sewel, " History of the Quakers," London, 1725, 2d ed., p. 6. 


death to life, and that none were true behevers but such, 
and though others said they were behevers yet they were 
not. Another time, as I was walking in a field on a first- 
day morning, the Lord opened to me that being bred at 
Oxford or Cambridge was not enough to fit and qualify 
men to be ministers of Christ ; and I stranged at it, be- 
cause it was the common belief of people." 1 He still did 
not find absolute peace, but continued to go up and down 
though the country. 

After the conviction that education was no essential 
qualification of a minister, he naturally turned more and 
more to the dissenters, but he found little satisfaction with 
most of them. So he goes on to say : " When ... I had 
nothing outwardly to help me, nor could tell what to do, 
then, oh, then I heard a voice which said, ' There is one, even 
Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition,' and when I 
heard it my heart did leap for joy." '" And when he cried 
to the Lord, " ' Why should I be thus, seeing I was never 
addicted to commit those evils ? ' the Lord answered that 
it was needful I should have a sense of all conditions — 
how else should I speak to all conditions? And in this I 
saw the infinite love of God. I saw also that there was 
an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of 
light and love which flowed over the ocean of darkness." ^ 
Again he says : " Now was I come up in spirit through 
the flaming sword into the Paradise of God. All things 
were new, and all creation gave another smell unto me 
beyond what words can utter." This was when he was 
about twenty-three. 

The sentences quoted lie at the root of Fox's practice 
and teaching — consistency of the outward life with the 
profession ; the necessity of divine power within the man 
to enable him to live in accordance with the will of God ; 

1 "Journal," pp. 3-6. 2 Jl,id., p. 8. 3 Jl>id., pp. 13, 17. 

1 86 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. i. 

the direct communication of this will to every believer in 
the Lord Jesus Christ. His labors were from first to last 
a comment on the text, " If we live by the Spirit, by the 
Spirk let us also walk." 

Fox does not seem to have really preached, in the or- 
dinary acceptation of the term, until late in the year 1647. 
And then, Sewel says, his preaching " chiefly consisted 
of some few but powerful and piercing words, to those 
whose hearts were in some measure prepared to be capable 
of receiving this doctrine." ^ 

There seems little doubt that, as Sewel says, many if 
not most of the early converts of Fox were those who, 
like himself, were believers in the fundamental doctrines 
of Christianity, but, like him also, dissatisfied with the 
teachings and practices of the day, were longing for a 
higher and more spiritual life. The meetings, which were 
at that time frequently held for discussion of points of 
doctrine, afforded Fox admirable opportunities for spread- 
ing his views. He speaks of a " meeting of priests and 
professors at a justice's house," "a great meeting at 
Leicester for a dispute wherein both Presbyterians, Inde- 
pendents, Baptists, and Common-Prayer men were said 
to be all concerned."^ "This meeting was in a steeple- 
house," and as it is the first record of Fox entering one of 
those buildings to speak, it will be well to say a few words 
respecting this phrase, the practice the early Friends had 
of entering places of worship, and, as is so often charged, 
of interrupting public worship.^ It is true that there are 
instances of Friends disturbing public worship, but the 

1 "Journal," p. 13; Sewel, p. 13. 2 "Journal," pp. 14, 15. 

3 The phrase " steeple-house " is not peculiar to Friends, nor did they 
originate it; it is found, for instance, in Edwards's " Gangrsena," the third 
edition of which was published before Fox began to preach. And other 
cases might be cited. (" Gangrcena," etc., Thomas Edwards, 3d ed., Lon 
don, 1646, part ii., p. 4.) 


number of cases has been greatly exaggerated. It was 
usually after the " priest " had finished that the Friend 
spoke, and then it was on account of the unpalatable doc- 
trine, rather than for the interruption, that he suffered. 
The places of worship he entered were usually those be- 
longing to the Independents, and this body allowed dis- 
cussion after the sermon. ^ Fox frequently speaks of wait- 
ing until the minister had finished, and once at least he 
was invited up into the pulpit. A striking instance oc- 
curred at Ulverstone, where Margaret Fell, who, when he 
was interrupted as he was speaking after the " priest," 
called out, " Why may not he speak as well as any other? " ^ 
Had it not been for his strong common sense. Fox 
might have gone through an experience somewhat similar 
to that of his adherent, James Nayler,"^ or have become a 
second Ludowick Muggleton. As it was, though one of 
the most mystical of modern reformers, he was at the 
same time one of the most practical, all his spiritual teach- 
ing, from the very first, being accompanied by not only 
desires, but by efforts for the moral, political, and social 
welfare of his hearers ; his journal is full of practical sug- 
gestions. He " was the first who raised his voice against 
the evils of West Indian slavery. He claimed freedom of 

* "After all this is done [praying, preaching by the pastor, etc.] they 
[the Independents] have yet another exercise, wherein by way of conference, 
questioning, and disputation every one of the congregation may propound 
publicly and press their scruples, doubts, and objections against anything 
which that day they have heard." (" A Dissuasive from the Errors of the 
Time," etc., Robert Baylie, London, 1645, p. 30. This book was published 
just before George Fox began to preach. The writer has found no instances 
of the interruption of a Church of England service.) 

2 "Journal," pp. 56, 57, 61, 78, 109; see also R. Barclay, " Inner Life," 
pp. 274-293. 

3 Nayler is often quoted as an example of the wild enthusiasm of the early 
Friends ; even so careful a writer as H. Weingarten being deceived as to the 
true character of the episode. (" Die Revolutionskirchen Englands," Leip- 
zig, 1868, p. 271.) Nayler's actions were disavowed by Friends at the time, 
and he recanted, confessed his error, and was restored. (Sewel, pp. 147'" 

1 88 THE FRIENDS. [Chap, i. 

opinion in things pertaining to God. . . . He denounced 
war. . . . He could not conceive of religion and morality 
apart." ^ 

N(> man was more absolutely truthful than he, no one 
could be more desirous to get at the very roots of things. 
It was this sincerity of character and purpose which led him 
to reject almost with scorn all language and manners which 
appeared to convey any impression other than the truth." 

It does not seem to have been the intention at first to 
establish a new branch of the church. Fox and his early 
adherents felt that their message was to the church at 
large, but their testimony against " steeple-houses " and 
" priests " necessarily caused them to meet by themselves 
for worship, and probably before he or they realized it 
meetings for worship were actually established. Fox soon 
recognized this fact, and wherever opportunity offered set 
up meetings. He tells us " that the truth sprang up first 
(to us, as to be a people to the Lord) in Leicestershire in 
1644." This probably refers to his own personal experi- 
ence. He goes on to describe how the movement spread 
first to the neighboring counties, then, by 1654, over Eng- 
land, Scotland, and Ireland. " In 1655 many went be- 
yond seas," and " in 1656 truth brake forth in America." ^ 

The number of his adherents rapidly increased, and, 
like Fox, were filled with zeal to spread what was to them 
glad tidings to all people.'* The missionary zeal of the 

^ B. F. Westcott, " Social Aspects of Christianity," London, 1887, pp. 
129, 130. 

'^ "Journal," p. 24. 3 " Epistles," London, 1698, p. 2. 

* Fox's illiteracy has often been spoken of, but it seems to have been 
much overrated, and the fact remains that he influenced and retained the 
esteem and affection of men like Robert Barclay, William Penn, Thomas 
EUwood, and many others — highly educated men. (See Sewel, p. 25, and 
Penn's preface to Fox's "Journal," EUwood's "Autobiography.") While, 
as has been almost always the case in great religious revivals, his adherents 
were primarily drawn from the lower middle class, it was by no means ex- 
clusively so, and he was also joined heart and soul by the men just named, 


early Friends has, perhaps, only been equaled in modern 
times by the Jesuits. 

In a " General Epistle " dated 1660, " Germany, Amer- 
ica, Virginia, and many other places, as Florence, Mantua, 
Palatine, Tuscany, Italy, Rome, Turkey, Jerusalem, France, 
Geneva, Norway, Barbadoes, Bermuda, Antigua, Jamaica, 
Surinam, and Newfoundland," are mentioned as having 
been visited by Friends. It is true that there was no 
systematic missionary effort, but even if, as was often the 
case, the visits were made singly, or two by two, the ex- 
tensive service and the great expense, which was borne 
by the membership at large, show the true spirit of mis- 
sionary enterprise.^ 

The fact that little or no record remains of many of 
these visits does not show that they were made in vain. 
It is clear that for some time no formulated statement of 
doctrine was made. " The purport of their doctrine and 
ministry," says William Penn, " for the most part is what 
other professors of Christianity pretend to hold in words 
and forms." ^ But to this was added a belief in the direct 
revelation of Christ to the soul. " Now I was sent," Fox 
says, " to turn people from darkness to light, that they 
might receive Christ Jesus ; for to as many as should receive 
him in his light I saw that he would give power to be- 
come the sons of God, which I had obtained by. receiving 
Christ ; and I was to direct people to the Spirit that gave 
forth the Scriptures by which they might be led Into all 
truth and so up to Christ and God, as they had been who 

as well as by many others, such as Isaac Penington, Samuel Fisher, Margaret 
Fell, who with a hundred others would have adorned any Christian body. 
Some of his followers had been " priests." 

1 William Beck, " The Friends," London, 1893, p. ^z. '' Epistles," etc., 
London, 1858, p. ix., where a detailed account of receipts and expenditnre.s 
is given, the latter amounting to ;^490 13s. 5d. (date, about 1659). See also 
Bowden, vol. i., p. 58. 

2 Preface to Fox's "Journal," p. xiii. ; " Rise and Progress," u. 34. 

I90 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. i. 

gave them forth. ... I saw that the grace of God which 
brings salvation had appeared to all men, and that the 
manifestation of the Spirit of God was given to every 
man to profit withal." ^ 

He and his followers saw that wherever there was a 
human soul, Christ Jesus, the Light of the world, had 
called that soul, and by his Spirit had visited it, that he 
might bring it to himself. We can imagine what a won- 
derful discovery this must have been to men brought up 
to believe in a limited salvation, open only to an elect few. 
What wonder that they felt constrained to tell all men that 
God was seeking their salvation, not their destruction, and 
that he was personally calling each one to himself. They 
thus presented an entirely different picture of God from that 
/- presented by the Puritans, and their zeal was such in those 
early days that the term Quaker meant, in the minds of a 
i> large number of outsiders, a people who were a terror to 
their religious opponents, an unanswerable puzzle to the 
magistrates, and whose frenzy neither pillory, whipping- 
post, jail, nor gallows could tame. It was this sense of 
the universality of the work of the Holy Spirit, and of the 
completeness of the salvation for each individual man 
through Jesus Christ, which not only made them so hope- 
ful for the whole race, but also so ready to work for the 
bettering of mankind. There was no one too high to be 
spoken to, no one too low to be considered. Thus we 
find Oliver Cromwell, the Pope, the Sultan visited, and 
the slave and Indian pleaded for. Absolute, unhesitating" 
obedience to what was believed to be the will of God was 
characteristic of Fox and his associates, and a knowledge 
of this fact wil\ explain many things otherwise inexplicable. 
Matters which might to an outsider seem of little moment 
u^ere held of supreme importance if believed to be required 

1 " Journal," p. 22. 


or forbidden as the case might be. Expediency was a 
word that hardly possessed any meaning for them.^ 

He soon gathered a band of those who felt they were 
called to preach and exhort. There was no ordination, 
there was no formal recognition of their position, for there 
was no church organization; but by 1654 there were 
" sixty ministers " - traveling up and down. Many of 
these missionaries were young in years,^ few beyond the 
prime of life. There seems to have been no organized 
arrangements for these ministers ; they went wherever 
they believed the Lord sent them, whether it w^as to a 
neighboring county or to a distant land, though not infre- 
quently counsel was taken with George Fox, when practi- 
cable, or with other Friends.'* The adhesion of Margaret 
Fell, the wife of Judge Fell of Swarthmoor Hall, near 
Ulverstone, was a great support. She was a woman of 
remarkable attainments, great executive ability, and ex- 
cellent judgment. Her husband, Judge Fell, though he 
never joined the Society, was a powerful friend to it. 
Margaret Fell was also a woman of property and position, 
and used both liberally in aid of the new movement.^ She 
has been compared, and not without reason, to Lady 
Huntingdon among the early Methodists. Her house 
soon became the headquarters of the missionary band, her 

1 George Fox on one occasion refused to be released from a prison in 
which he had been confined for seven months, though he was very ill, when 
a pardon was offeted him. He says : " I was not free to receive a pardon, 
knowing I had not done evil. . . . For I had rather have lain in prison all 
my days than have come out in any way dishonorable to truth." (" Jour- 
nal," p. 405.) 

2 "Journal," p. 124; Sewel, p. 78. 

3 James Parnell, James Dickinson, and William Caton began to preach at 
eighteen, the first dying in prison after most cruel treatment at nineteen ; 
Edward Burrough died in prison at twenty-eight. 

* "Journal" of John Taylor (1657), York, 1830, p. 15 (a reprint of ed. 
1710); "Journal" of John Banks, London, 1712, pp. 65-68; "Truth Ex- 
alted," etc., John Burnyeat, London, 1691, pp. 21, 24, 27, etc. 

5 " The Fells of .Swarthmoor Hall," Maria Webb, 2d ed., London, 1867, 
pp. 70 ff. 

192 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. i. 

advice was sought and given, and though comparatively- 
few of her own letters have been preserved, very many of 
those addressed to her are still in existence,^ over four 
hundred being in the Devonshire House collection alone. 
There is no doubt also that at Swarthmoor Hall contribu- 
tions were received for the expenses of those traveling and 
for the relief of those suffering for their principles. The 
funds thus received were distributed as occasion required. 
Many of the early preachers came from the neighborhood 
of Swarthmoor, which fact also helps to account for Mar- 
garet Fell's great influence.^ 

No distinct creed was preached by this early band, but 
they called every one away from dependence upon any- 
thing but Christ himself. They directed their hearers to 
the light of Christ within their hearts. Fox loved to dwell 

1 " Letters of Early Friends," John Barclay, p. 25, note, London, 1841 ; 
M. Webb, p. 82. See Margaret (Fell) Fox's Testimony concerning George 
Fox, prefixed to his " Journal." 

2 Barclay, in his "Inner Life" (already referred to), pp. 268 ff., has 
sought to prove that Fox acted much like a modern missionary society in 
supplying ministers where they were needed, and in displacing those who 
were unsuitable. He also endeavors to show that there was a system of 
itinerant preaching nearly as complete as that of the later Wesleyans. Bar- 
clay appears to have made up his mind on these points and then to have set 
out to find evidence for his view. In bringing this forward he takes little 
account of the vast amount of testimony on the other side, and sometimes it 
would seem he even ignores what does not make for his side. A careful 
examination of his arguments, and of many of the ofiicial documents of the 
Society, of Croese's, Sewel's, and Cough's histories (the first two being 
contemporary accounts), as well as of many of the "Journals" of early 
Friends, fails to confirm his position. It is incredible that Fox, with " his 
superhuman truthfulness," should never have mentionetl such an arrange- 
ment in his " Journal." Barclay's work treats with great ability of subjects 
generally neglected by other historians, gives much curious information, and 
is the result of much labor and thought. It is, therefore, the more to be 
regretted that the wide circulation of the book should have given currency to 
views regarding the Society of Friends wliich rest on insufficient evidence, if 
they are not largely erroneous. See an able criticism, " An Examen," etc., 
Charles Evans, M.D., Friends' Book-store, Philadelphia, 1S78; J. Winsor, 
" Narrative and Critical History of America," Boston, 1884, vol. iii., p. 504. 
The little book, " Letters, etc., of Early Friends," A. R. Barclay (editor), 
London, 1841, pp. 274 ff., alone almost disproves his position, the editor 
being R. Barclay's uncle! 

•• THE INXER light:' 1 93 

on the light of Christ. " Beheve in the Light, that ye 
may become children of the Light," was his message again 
and again. So much did he and his followers dwell on 
this, that though at first they called themselves " Children 
of Truth," they were soon termed " Children of Light," a 
name which they adopted and used for some time. They 
also called themselves " Friends of Truth," and finally 
"The Religious Society of Friends," to which was very 
frequently added, " commonly called Quakers." ^ 

The phrase " Inner Light " has also become inseparably 
attached to them and their successors.^ 

Accompanying this spiritual teaching there was the 
practical testimony against oaths, as being contrary to the 
words of Christ, "Swear not at all;" against tithes, as 
being also contrary to the gospel, whose ministers were to 
freely give what they had freely received ; against all lan- 
guage which departed from verbal truthfulness, such as 
titles of compliment;^ the use of the plural form of the 
pronouns in address ; of refusing to uncover the head to 
any man, regarding the act as one of worship, and to be 
practiced only toward God.^ 

1 The origin of the name Quaker is thus described by George Fox him- 
self : ' ' This was Justice Bennet of Darby, who was the first that called us 
(Quakers, because I bid them tremble at the word of the Lord. And this 
was in the year 1650." (" Journal," p. 37; " Doctrinal \Yorks," London, 
1706, p. 507.) So also Sewel, who adds, the name " hath also given occa- 
sion to many silly stories " (Sewel, p. 24. See Gerard Croese, " The General 
History of the Quakers," London, 1696, p. 5), stories which are repeated to 
this day. (See Maryland, Wm. Hand Browne, Boston, 1884, p. 135.) 

2 There is no doubt that meanings have been attributed to this phrase 
widely different from that held by Fox. He says : "I turned the people to 
the divine light, which Christ, the heavenly and spiritual man, enlighteneth 
them withal; that with that light they might see their sins, and that they 
were in death and darkness, and without God in the world ; and that with 
the same light they might also see Christ, from whom it conies, their Saviour 
and Redeemer, who shed his blood and died for them, and who is the way to 
God, the truth, and the life." (" Journal," p. 168.) 

3 Legal bona fide titles, as king, duke, justice, etc., were excepted. 

* This fact explains the tenacity with which the early Friends held to this 
testimony, believing that to take off the hat was giving the honor to men 

194 ^-^^^ FRIENDS. [Chap. i. 

It was the practice in those times to make a difference 
in the manner of speaking to equals and to superiors. 
" Thou " and " thee " was used to the former and to in- 
feriors, but " you " to superiors. It seemed to many at 
the time, as well as at a later day, that Fox attached too 
much importance to language and to the hat, but it is 
difficult to judge correctly without an accurate knowledge 
of the period. The principle involved was right, and hav- 
ing accepted that, he carried it to its logical conclusion. 
The practice of calling the days and months by their 
numerical names was not original with him, it was a cus- 
tom among the early Baptists as well. As to dress, there 
is absolutely nothing to show that Fox advised anything 
but simplicity ; uniformity he does not hint at ; that was 
the product of a later age. His " leather breeches" have 
become famous through Carlyle,^ but there is no authority 
whatever for the statement that he stitched them himself, 
and the material seems to have been chosen for its wearing 
qualities alone. He himself bought for his wife a piece of 
red cloth for a mantle.- 

The views of Fox spread, and thousands flocked ^ to hear 
and to accept the comforting doctrines proclaimed by these 
earnest men and women. Fox's acceptance of the uni- 
versality of the gospel, and of the direct visitation of every 
soul by the Holy Spirit, logically brought him to see that 
women could not be excepted from any part of the divine 
commission.'* Though the number of women who preached 

which was due to God only. (Fox's "Journal," p. 179, and many other 
places.) " There was nothing which brought more abuse on these scrupu- 
lous reformers. In vain they explained that they did not mean it disre- 
spectfully. Many were hurried away and cast into prison for contempt of 
court witliout any other crime being proved against them." (M. Webb, 

PP- 31. 32-) 

1 " .Sartor Resartus," book iii., chap. i. - M. Webb, p. 259. 

3 Thurloe, " State Papers," vol. v., p. 166; vol. viii., pp. 403, 527, etc. 

■1 His statement of his views on this subject in a letter to the Duke of 
Ilolstein is remarkably clear and convincing. (" Journal," pp. 523 ff. ) Fox 


was somewhat less than that of the men, those that preached 
took an active part in the work at home and abroad, and 
were full partakers, even to death, in the sufferings of the 
early days. 

The early meetings for worship which sprang up all over 
the kingdom appear to have been strictly congregational 
at first, and the beginnings of organization were strikingly 
like the apostolic practice. 

Fox, in 1652, thus writes to Friends: "Be faithful to 
God, and mind that which is committed to you, as faithful 
servants, laboring in love ; some threshing, and some plow- 
ing, and some to keep the sheep : he that can receive this, 
let him : and all to watch over one another in the Spirit of 
God." ' This was Fox's ideal m.eeting, and the whole 
organization afterward developed by him is based on the 
principle involved in these words. Like the early church, 
one of the first objects was the care of the poor, " and to 
see that all walked according to truth." - 

did not, however, introduce women's preaching into the modern church. 
Edwards, in his " Gangrsena," mentions the fact of women's preaching more 
than once. (See part i., pp. 26, 113, London, 1646.) 

1 " Epistles," Epistle 16, London, 1698, p. 15. 

2 " Letters, etc., of Early Friends," p. 311. 



As numbers increased, necessity for some formal plan 
naturally suggested 'itself, though from the first, as Fox's 
" Epistles " and those of other Friends clearly show, the 
spirit of discipline was always present and carried out, 
though informally. Individual monthly meetings for dis- 
cipline were set up, certainly as early as 1653, in Durham, 
and elsewhere in the northern counties,^ but the practice 
was occasional. Among the earliest held were " general 
meetings," which were held for discussion, for advice, 
and to take into consideration all matters of common in- 
terest. The first of which any record remains was held at 
Swanington, Leicestershire, 1654; another was at Balby, 
Yorkshire, in 1656, which issued a number of directions 
and advices ; and from this time such meetings were held 
frequently. In 1660 Fox mentions a meeting at Skipton 
" for business relating to the church both in this nation 
and beyond the seas." He states also " this meeting had 
stood for several years, and part of the business was to con- 
sider the cases of those who had suffered for truth's sake, 
and to help the poor." ^ 

Quarterly meetings were established contemporaneously 
with monthly meetings, and for similar purposes. The 

1 Fox's "Journal," pp. 310, 321, 419 ; " Letters, etc.," pp. 283, 286, 311 ff; 
" Epistles from Yearly Meeting of Friends held in London," etc., Historical 
Introduction, London, 1858, vol. i. , pp. vii. fl. 

2 "Journal," p. 215; Sewel, p. 93. 



quarterly meeting of the present day was a later devel- 

Even in 1666, though there were many meetings for 
discipline, some even in America,^ it still was not a general 
practice. The occasion for the setting up of so many 
meetings of discipline is one of the most curious episodes 
in the history of the Society. George Fox had been in 
prison most of the time for three years, and during this 
period of his withdrawal from service not a few had gone 
into extremes. One of the most radical was a John Perrot, 
a preacher who had been very active, " and though little 
in person, yet great in opinion of himself; nothing less 
would serve him than to go and convert the Pope."- 
Perrot on reaching Rome was confined as a madman. 
After great difficulty his release was secured. On his re- 
turn to England his eccentricities were great, but the suffer- 
ings he had undergone gave him position, and his ability in 
speaking gained him adherents. He taught that " unless 
they had an immediate motion at that time to put it off," 
the hat should be kept on in time of public prayer, both by 
the one praying and by those worshiping with him. This 
teaching spread ; some very prominent Friends being tem- 
porarily, led away by it to a greater or less degree, among 
them Isaac Penington, Thomas EUwood, and John Crook.-* 

1 Bowden, vol. i., p. 208. 

2 " History of the Life of Thomas EUwood " (an autobiography), Lon- 
don, 1 714, p. 241. 

3 In the MS. Records of Virginia Yearly Meeting there is a copy of a letter 
from Isaac Penington expressing sorrow at his being partly led away, and 
asking the Virginia Friends to give up or destroy certain papers " written 
by me in time of great darkness and temptation." He also says: " It was 
God's mercy that he [John Perrot] did me no more hurt than he did ; and 
for that of the hat, I did not practice it myself nor desire that others should 
practice it, but only that the tender-hearted might be borne within that 
respect." Dated "London, the 29 of the 3rd mo. [May] 1675." There 
is a letter of the same date from John Crook very much to the same effect, 
and speaking of " a paper writ by me about 12 years since." Virginia Yearly 
Meeting of Friends, MS. Minutes, " 28 of 8 month [October] 1675." 

198 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. 11. 

To Fox, who was a most reverent man, this teaching 
was abhorrent ; he speaks of Perrot's followers as those 
who " had run out from the truth." He held several 
meetings with them " which lasted whole days," and re- 
claimed a number who, Thomas Ellwood says, with great 
simplicity and humility of mind acknowledged their " out- 
going " and took condemnation and shame to themselves. ^ 

Fox's good sense saw something must be done to avoid, 
as far as possible, such schisms in the future. Ellwood's 
statement is so clear that it deserves to be quoted : " Not 
long after this, G.[eorge] F. [ox] was moved of the Lord 
to travel through the countries, from county to county, to 
advise and encourage Friends to set up monthly and 
quarterly meetings, for the better ordering the affairs of 
the church ; in taking care of the poor ; and exercising a 
true gospel discipline for a due dealing with any that might 
walk disorderly under our name ; and to see that such as 
should marry among us did act fairly and clearly in that 
respect."- To these might be added: recording the suf- 
ferings of Friends, and extending aid to those in prison 
and to their families; keeping records of births, marriages, 
and deaths ; and other minor matters. 

The admirable system of meetings and records thus in- 
stituted by Fox has lasted with little alteration to the 
present day. Fox's practical mind is well illustrated on 
this journey by his advising friends at Waltham to set " up 
a school there for teaching boys, and also a women's school 
at Schacklewel for instructing girls and young maidens in 
whatsoever things were civil and useful in the creation."^ 
His efforts were not confined to England, but he wrote to 
Scotland, Holland, Barbadoes, and other parts of America 

1 Fox's "Journal," p. 310; Ellwood's "Autobiography," p. 244. 

2 "Autobiography," p. 245; Fox's own account, "Journal," pp. 310 ff. 

3 " Journal," p. 316. 


advising the same course. Thus it is seen that not only 
was Fox a founder but a skillful organizer. He did not 
accomplish this work without opposition. Two well-known 
ministers, John Wilkinson and John Story, opposed him,' 
partly, Sewel says, from envy, and partly because things 
were not ordered as they wished. The ground taken by 
them was, " that every one ought to be guided by the Spirit 
of God in his own mind, and not to be governed by rules 
of man." They were also opposed to women's meetings. 
They gathered a number of adherents, and at one time 
threatened much trouble ; but, in Sewel's quaint words, 
"at length they decayed and vanished, as snow in the 

At first all meetings for discipline were " men's meet- 
ings " ; but Fox soon saw the advantage of women's meet- 
ings also, as being better adapted for looking after the 
members of their own sex, " and especially in that par- 
ticular of visiting the sick and the weak, and looking after 
the poor v/idows and fatherless."" 

Fox wrote many epistles to individuals and to meetings 
regarding good order in the church, dwelling on the ne- 
cessity for Christian love and practice. To write epistles 
was a very common thing both for meetings and individuals 
to do, and valuable collections have been made of such.^ 

The first Yearly Meeting held in London was in 1668,* 
at which time it is likely that the most formal document 
prepared up to that date was issued. This is often known 

1 Sewel, p. 561 ; also "Journal " of Charles Marshall, London, 1844, p. 26. 

2 "Letters, etc.," pp. 293, 309, 343; Fox's "Journal," p. 386; William 
Crouch, " Posthuma Christiana," London, 1 712, p. 22. 

s " Letters, etc.," 1657, 1659, 1662, 1666, pp. 287-318. 

* The Yearly Meeting held at London appears to be the continuation of 
that held at Skipton beginning in 1656. Several were held at London from 
time to time, but it was not until 1672 that Yearly Meetings were regularly 
held in London. They have continued to be held annually without interrup- 
tion ever since. 

200 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. n. 

as the " Canons and Institutions," and there seems Httle 
doubt that Fox was the author, as it bears his signature. 
This document was practically the Discipline of the Society 
for a long time. R. Barclay, in his " Inner Life " (p. 395), 
says that it is found at the commencement of the records 
of every quarterly meeting which had been hitherto in- 
spected by him bearing date 1669. The writer of the 
present sketch found it in the beginning of the Virginia 
Records, which state that they were begun " in the year 
1673 by the motion and order of George Fox, the ser- 
vant of God."^ There are nineteen different heads, under 
which are grouped appropriately advices and regulations 
concerning almost all matters which would be likely to 
come up before a church organization. They largely re- 
late to matters of practical morality and Christian oversight 
and care. The title "Canons," etc., was disclaimed in 1675. 
No document exactly answering to a creed has ever 
been put forth by the Society as a whole, though a num- 
ber of declarations of faith have been issued from tim.e to 
time ; but these have been rather for the benefit of out- 
siders, or in answer to charges preferred, than for the 
members of the Society. One of the earliest formal state- 
ments was that made by John Crook in 1663, entitled 
"Truth's Principles"; and Edward Burrough published 
one in 1658." Another, in 1671, was addressed by George 
Fox and his companions, while in the island of Barbadoes, 
to the governor of that island. This is so comprehensive 
that it has been quoted and referred to by the Society 
more than any similar document. As it is a defense 

1 The document is printed in full in " The London Friends' Meetings," 
by Wilham Beck and T. Frederick Ball, London, 1869, pp. 47 ff. ; also in 
substance by R. Barclay, " Inner Life," p. 395. 

2 " A Declaration to all the World of Our Faith," etc., works of Edward 
Burrough, 1672, pp. 439 ff. ; " The Design of Christianity," etc., John Crook, 
London, 1701, pp. 355 ff. 


against "false and scandalous reports," more stress is laid 
upon those points which Friends had in common with other 
Christian bodies than those in which they differ.^ 

The earliest formal statement by the Societ}" was a doc- 
ument put forth in 1693. This action was due to the 
charges preferred by George Keith, who, after having been 
a prominent member, left the Society and became one of 
its bitterest enemies,- and " charged the Quakers with a 
belief which they never had owned to be theirs, [and] they 
found themselves obliged publicly to set forth their faith 
anew in print which they had often before asserted both 
in words and writing, thereby to manifest that their belief 
was really orthodox, and agreeable with the Holy Script- 
ures.""* This document remains one of the best state- 
ments of the Quaker faith. It was probably the work to 
a large extent of George Whitehead, who nearly forty 
years before was one of George Fox's band of sixty min- 
isters. The widely known " Apology " of Robert Barclay, 
though published in 1678,"* was not regarded as an official 
statement in the seventeenth century. It is a little curious 
that George Fox never directly refers to the work. 

The main points of the teaching of Friends must be 
gathered from various documents issued at various times. 
Accepting the ordinary fundamental doctrines of Chris- 
tianity, they differed from other denominations in several 
important respects,^ which may be grouped under the 

' "Journal," pp. 357-361; " Christian Discipline," pp. 2-6; and in the 
Disciplines of all the Yearly Meetings. 

2 See chapter iii., Pennsylvania. 

3 Sewel, pp. 618-625, '^^ho gives the document in full. It has been re- 
printed in part in most of the Disciplines of the Yearly Meetings. 

* Originally published in Latin under the title " Theologia; vere Chris- 
tians Apologia," Amstelodanii, 1676, but afterward translated by the author 
into English, as " An Apology for the True Christian Divinity," 1678 (place 
of publication not given). 

5 These differences were far greater in the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries than at present, not only in doctrine but in practice ; e.g., t-lie liberty 


2 02 THE FRIENDS. • [Chap. ii. 

following heads: (i) The importance attached to the 
immediate personal teaching of the Holy Spirit — this lay 
at the root of most of their " testimonies " ; (2) The disuse 
of all types and outward ordinances ; (3) The manner of 
worship and of appointment of ministers ; (4) The "manner 
of carrying into daily life and practice the commands of 

Their teachings in regard to the Spirit and in regard to 
oaths, dress, and language have been sufficiently indicated 
in the preceding pages. In disusing the ordinances of 
Baptism and the Supper, they believed, first, that there 
was no command for their continuance ; and secondly, that 
-as the spiritual baptism and spiritual communion were 
essential there was no need for the outward sign ; also 
holding that the use of the type tended to beget reliance 
upon the type. Dependence upon the immediate guid- 
ance of the Holy Spirit led the Friends to meet for divine 
worship in outward silence, as it was only under such cir- 
cumstances that the Holy Spirit could call for what service 
he would, and from whomsoever he would. They believed 
that nothing should come between the soul and God but 
Christ, and that to make the worship of a whole congre- 
gation depend upon the presence or absence of one man 
was contrary to the idea of true worship. Ministers, they 
held, were called and qualified of God, and so the exercise 
of their gifts was not to be dependent upon education or 
upon any special training;^ that the gift of the ministry 
was bestowed upon men and women alike. They believed 
in carrying gospel precepts into daily life more than most 

to decline to take judicial oaths, which privilege the Friend died to uphold, 
through his efforts is the right of every one in America, and also in England 
of all who can show that they have conscientious scruples against taking an 

1 Education was not undervalued, but highly esteemed, as has been seen 
in George Fox's recommending the establishment of schools ; but this was 
for all persons. 


of their contemporaries, and all their dealings were to be 
in strict accord with their religious profession. War, they 
held, was clearly antagonistic to the commands of Christ, 
and contrary to the whole tenor of a gospel of love and 

Their views in regard to the Holy Scriptures have been 
much misunderstood. This has been due partly to the 
way in which they often expressed their views, and partly 
from readers not paying due attention to the context, from 
not examining other writings, or from being ignorant of 
the real practice of the early Friends. George Fox " had 
an extraordinary gift in opening the Scriptures" (Penn's 
preface to "Journal"), and it is well known he carried a 
Bible with him ; few persons have been more familiar with 
the Bible than he, or been able to make a more ready use 
of it, as his journal abundantly testifies. Samuel Bownas 
at times preached with his Bible in his hand.^ The ex- 
treme literalism of the age led the early Friends to make 
use of language to which their antagonists gave meanings 
often quite foreign to the real facts. Barclay's words, 
"We shall also be very willing to admit it as a positive 
certain maxim, that whatsoever any do pretending to the 
Spirit, which is contrary to the Scriptures, be accounted 
and reckoned a delusion of the devil," are a fair statement 
of the general belief.^ 

Their views as to marriage and the marriage ceremony 
are peculiar, and were laid down by Fox himself as early 
as 1653.^ "They say that marriage is an ordinance of 
God," marriage " is God's joining, not man's," " We marry 
none, but are witnesses of it." The man and the woman 

1 " Life," pp. 7, 23, 100, London, 1795. 

2 R. Barclay, "Apology," Prop. IIL, ^ vi. It must be confessed that 
Barclay himself, when he terms the Scriptures a " secondary rule," uses lan- 
guage likely to convey a wrong impression. 

3 "Journal," p. 315. 

204 '^^HE FRIENDS. [Chap. ii. 

were to take themselves as man and wife in the presence 
of God's people ; the clearness from all other engagements 
being ascertained, and consent of parents and guardians 
obtained.^ The Friends were faithful to this testimony ; 
" to such an extent did the care respecting marriages . . . 
prevail in the Society . . . that [in England] prior to 1 790 
the man had to attend twelve distinct meetings for disci- 
pline, to repeat in public his intention of marriage, and 
the intentions were announced twenty times prior to the 
solemnization of the marriage." - 

The Friends, with no boastful feeling, but with the de- 
sire that the record should stand as a testimony and as a 
memorial, directed that " sufferings of Friends (of all kinds 
of sufferings) in all the countries be gathered up and put 
together and sent to the General Meeti-ng, and so sent to 
London." The result has been that a remarkable and 
detailed record of sufferings for conscience' sake has been 
preserved. " The severity and extent of their sufferings is 
shown by the fact that during the twenty-five years of 
Charles the Second's reign 13,562 Friends were imprisoned 
in various parts of England, 198 were transported as slaves 
beyond seas, and 338 died in prison or of wounds received 
in violent assaults on their meetings."^ This does not in- 

1 " And when they do go together, and take one another, let there not be 
less than a dozen friends and relations present (according to your usual 
order), having first acquainted the men's meeting, and they have clearness 
and unity with them, and that it may be recorded in a book." (" Canons 
and Constitutions," 1668; "The London Friends' Meetings," p. 47; Vir- 
ginia MS. Records, 1673.) The Friends' meetings before giving consent to 
a marriage were required to see that there was no existing engagement, that 
there was no legal obstruction, and that if there were children of a former 
marriage, that their rights should be carefully protected. (See also Fox's 
"Journal," p. 315; Sewel, p. 667; Penn's " Rise and Progress," 7th ed., 
London, 1769, pp. 43 ff., also the Disciplines of the various Yearly Meetings.) 
At present, applications for permission to marry are made to monthly meet- 
ings, which appoint a committee to see if anything stands in the way, and on 
its report, if satisfactory, give permission. 

2 R. Barclay, " Inner Life," p. 407. 

3 William Beck, " The Friends," p. 65. 


elude those who suffered in America, where also four were 
executed on Boston Common. 1 

[Note. — The authority for the statements made in the text is to be found 
in " Christian Discipline," etc., London, 1883 ; the Disciplines of the various 
Yearly Meetings; William C. Westlake, " The Sure Foundation," London, 
i860, pp. 11-36; Thomas Evans, " Exposition of the Faith of the Society 
of Friends," Philadelphia, 1828 (frequently reprinted) ; William Penn, preface 
to Fox's "Journal," reprinted as " Rise and Progress of the People called 
Quakers," in many editions (Philadelphia, Friends' Book-store); R. Barclay, 
"Apology," "Friends' Library," vol. i., pp. 109-141, Philadelphia, 1837.] 

1 Joseph Besse, in his " Collection of the Sufferings of the People called 
Quakers " (from 1650 to 1689), used the records referred to above, and in 
his volumes (London, 1753) may be found the details, geographically and 
chronologically arranged, with full indices. It should be said that the suffer- 
ings of Friends did not cease with 1689, either in England or in America, but 
it was chiefly on account of refusal to pay tithes. Their sufferings in America 
will be referred to in the following chapter. 



[Note. — All dates before 1752 are Old Style.] 

Owing to the disorders in England, the colonists of 
Massachusetts Bay had increased rapidly in numbers by 
1656. It would naturally be supposed that, having left 
England largely on account of religious persecution, they 
would be ready to establish religious liberty in their new 
home. Nothing was further from their thoughts. The 
express purpose of their coming was to do as they pleased 
in regard to religious matters. Stern and unbending op- 
ponents of toleration, one of their first acts was to send 
back two Episcopalians. Another episode was the ban- 
ishment of Roger Williams. Scarcely were they clear of 
him, before Anne Hutchinson and the Antinomians rose 
up; then the Anabaptists; "fines, imprisonment, whip- 
ping, etc.,"^ were brought into use to clear the colony of 
these dangerous heretics. If the colonists felt in this way 
toward those differing with them who had already ap- 
peared, it is not to be wondered at that they felt still more 
strongly in regard to the Quakers, against whom, however, 
there was in 1656 no law.'- 

The first recorded visit of any Quakers to Massachusetts 
was that of two women, Ann Austin and Mary Fisher, 
who arrived in a vessel from Barbadoes in the beginning 
of July, 1656. As soon as Richard Bellingham, the dep- 
uty-governor, heard of their arrival, he sent " officers 

1 Neal, " New England," vol. i., p. 291. 

2 Hutchinson, " IMassacluisetts," vol. i., p. 197. 



aboard who searched their trunks and chests and took 
away the books they found there, which were about a 
hundred, and carried them ashore, after having com- 
manded the said women to be kept prisoners aboard, and 
the said books were by an order of the council burned in 
the market-place by the hangman." The women were 
then brought on shore, put in prison, all persons forbidden 
to speak to them under penalty of five pounds ; pens, ink, 
and paper were taken away from them, and a board nailed 
before the window that no one might see or speak to them. 
Worse than this, they were stripped perfectly nude and 
subjected to an outrageous examination to see if they 
were witches. All this was done, it should be remem- 
bered, before trial and before there was any law against 
the Quakers. After an imprisonment of five weeks, during 
which they were cruelly treated, they were put on board 
the vessel and sent back to Barbadoes.^ Two days after 
they left, a vessel arrived from London with eight of the 
hated sect on board. One can imagine the horror of the 
magistrates. The master of the vessel was forced to take 
them back to England.^ 

It was while these were still in prison that the first law 
directly aimed against the Quakers was passed, strictly an 
ex post facto one so far as the prisoners were concerned. 
It is dated "Boston, 14 of October, 1656."^ It begins : 
" Whereas, there is a cursed sect of heretics lately risen 

1 Sewel, p. 156; Bishop, pp. 8 ff. ; Besse, vol. ii., pp. 177 ff.; Bowden, 
vol. i., pp. TyT, ff. ; Hallowell, "Quaker Invasion," pp. 32 ff. ; Brooks Adams, 
" Emancipation of Massachusetts," pp. 128 ff. ; George E. Ellis, "Memo- 
rial History of Boston," James R. Osgood & Co., Boston, 1882, vol. i., 
pp. 177 ff. ; G. E. Ellis, " The Puritan Age in Massachusetts Bay," Boston, 
Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1888, pp. 408 ff. (the last two are a defense of the 
I'uritans) ; Ih'yant and Gay's " History of the United States," Chas. Scribner 
^; Sons, New York, 1878, vol. ii., chap. viii. 

2 Hutchinson, " Massachusetts," vol. i., p. 197. 

3 Mass. Records, vol. iv., part i. , pp. 277 ff.; Hallowell, pp. 133 ff.; 
r.esse, vol. ii., p. 179; Bowden, vol. i., p. 46, etc. 

^6 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. hi. 

up in the world which are commonly called Quakers, who 
take upon them to be immediately sent of God and infal- 
libly assisted by the Spirit to speak and write blasphemous 
opinions, despising government and the order of God in 
church and commonwealth," etc. Heavy penalties were 
provided for the master of any vessel who might know- 
ingly bring a Quaker into the colony, while any of the 
sect who might come from any direction were to be 
" forthwith committed to the house of correction, and at 
their entrance to be severely whipped and by the master 
thereof, be kept constantly to work, and none suffered to 
converse or speak with them. " Any person importing, con- 
cealing, etc., " Quaker books or writings concerning their 
devilish opinions," was to suffer heavy penalties likewise. 

Notwithstanding this law, the Quakers continued to 
come, and on October 14, 1657, the second law against 
them was enacted, and severer penalties prescribed.^ 

A third law, enacted May 19, 1658, forbade the Quakers 
holding meetings, those attending being fined ten shillings 
and those who might speak five pounds, with further 
penalties for old offenders. But this was not enough, for 
on October 19th of the same year, and May 22, 1661, it 
was provided that banished Quakers who might return 
were to suffer death. "■^ Space does not allow a description 
of even one of the punishments inflicted under these laws ; 
suffice it to say that the laws were rigorously carried out, 
even to the hanging on Boston Common of three men and 
one woman. These cruelties, and particularly the execu- 
tions, having been brought to the notice of Charles II., 
he issued the " King's Missive," which reached Boston 
shortly before the day fixed for the execution of one of 
the sufferers. Wenlock Christison, and he and his fellow- 

1 Mass. Records, vol. iv., i)art i., pp. 308 ff. 

2 Ibid., pp. 321, 345; vol. iv., part ii., p. 2. 


prisoners to the number of twenty-seven were set at 

This action, however, only applied to the punishment 
of death, for a year later the laws, so far as whipping", etc., 
were concerned, were reenacted with but little modifica- 
tion. In May, 1681, the death penalty was formally re- 
pealed, and on March 23, 1681/82, the laws were sus- 
pended.^ There was no whipping after 1677, though 
Friends suffered imprisonment for their refusal to pay 
tithes, etc. Even the Plymouth colonists made use of 
whipping, disfranchisement, fines, banishment.^ Friends 
were always ready to pay their share toward the expenses 
of the civil government, but they would not pay tithes.'^ 

It may be said, as it has often been said, " The Quakers 
brought all this suffering upon themselves ; why did they 
'intrude' themselves where they were not wanted?" It 
may well be said in reply. Why should they have stayed 
away? They were Englishmen, with all the rights of 
Englishmen. Wenlock Christison on his trial appealed to 
the laws of England, asking the pertinent question, " How 
have you power to make laws repugnant to the laws of 
England?" and declaring that the patent had been for- 
feited. There is no doubt whatsoever that he was legally 
correct in claiming that his legal rights were violated.^ 

1 Bowden, vol. i., p. 226; Bishop, pp. 335 ff. ; Neal, vol. i., p. 314; Hallo- 
well, " Quaker Invasion," pp. 55, 189-191 ; Besse, vol. i., preface, p. xxxii., 
and p. 225. See Whittier's poem, "The King's Missive." 

2 Mass. Records, vol. iv., part ii., pp. 4, 19, 34, 59, 88; vol. v., pp. 60, 
I34> 322. 

3 Bowden, vol. i., p. 294; MS. Records, Sandwich Monthly Meeting, " 8th 
mo., 2, 1674, 4th mo., 4, 1675, 6th mo., 1705 " (" Thos. Bowman in prison 
for priest's rates ") ; Bishop, pp. 164 ff. ; Bowden, vol. i., pp. 75 ff. 

* Hallowell, "Pioneer Quakers," p. 51; Sandwich Monthly Meeting 
Records, " 3d mo., 9, 1712." Two Friends report that they have found out 
the proportion between the priest's rates and town and county charge, " and 
tlie priest's part, which Friends cannot pay, is near about one half, lacking 
lialf a third of the whole." 

5 For a full statement see Hallowell's "Quaker Invasion" and "Pio- 
neer Quakers"; Brooks Adams, " Emancipation of Massachusetts"; Chas. 


2IO THE FRIENDS. [Chai'. hi. 

Much has been made by Massachusetts historians and 
apologists of one or two women who divested themselves 
of the whole or part of their clothing, and then marched 
up and down the streets. Such apologists forget the age, 
and also that these acts were not done until after persecu- 
tion had goaded the sufferers into what seems to this cent- 
ury to be a most unseemly exhibition. But while there 
were only two or three such episodes, the laivs of Massa- 
chusetts passed, presumably after deliberation, directed 
that women should be " stripped naked from the middle up, 
tied to a cart's tail, and whipped through the town and 
from thence " to the next town and until they were con- 
veyed out of " our jurisdiction."^ This was done not once 
or twice, but again and again, most cruelly. It was a rude 
age, and both Friends and Puritans must be judged by the 
standards of the time in which they lived. The records 
show that the magistrates and church officers were re- 
sponsible for the persecutions, for there is scarcely a single 
instance where the people at large manifested their ap- 
proval of the cruelties practiced, while their disapproval 
was frequently shown.- 

It was not until i 724 that the Quakers received the re- 
ward of their long endurance. In 1723 some Friends were 
appointed assessors in Dartmouth and Tiverton, and being 
conscientiously scrupulous of assessing taxes for the sup- 
port of the ministers of the churches, were cast into prison 
and fined. Having made ineffectual application to the 

Francis Adams, " Massachusetts, its Historians and its History." The last 
author discusses in a trenchant manner the spirit of the Puritans. See also 
Bowden, vol. i., pp. 243 ff. ; Bishop, p. 337. 

1 Mass. Records, vol. iv., part ii., p. 4; Hallowell, " Quaker Invasion," 
p. 142; Besse, vol. ii., p. 227. George Fox and John Burnyeat, in their 
" New England's Fire-Brand Quenched," use this argument well, pp. 32, 
184, 196, 197, 224. (Quoted in Hallowell.) 

2 The defense of the magistrates is a curious document. Mass. Records, 
voL iv., part ii., p. 386; vol. v., p. 198; Gough, vol. i., p. 393, who dis- 
cusses it section by section. 


colonial government, they appealed to the Royal Privy 
Council in England. This sustained them on all points, 
remitted the heavy fines imposed, and ordered their re- 
lease after thirteen months' confinement. This " marks 
the collapse of the effort made by the Puritans to establish 
a theocracy in Massachusetts."^ Laws exempting Ana- 
baptists and Quakers from supporting the ministers were 
passed in i 728 and later. 

Notwithstanding the persecutions in New England, the 
Society grew in numbers, but particularly in Rhode Isl- 
and, where under the liberal charter and administration 
they found a safe refuge. As early as 1666 they were 
of sufficient strength in the colony to cause the General 
Assembly to refuse a proposition for enforcing an oatJi of 
allegiance, and in 1667 their views were regarded still 
more.^ Many of the influential men embraced Quaker 
doctrines, three of whom, William Coddington, Nicholas 
Easton, and Henry Bull, filled the office of governor. In 
1672 the governor, deputy-governor, and magistrates were 
Friends, and the colony was largely if not wholly under 
their control. This circumstance was an extraordinary one 
not only in the history of the colonies but in the world, 
for it is doubtless the first example of any political com- 
munity being ruled by men who believed strictly in the 
principles of peace. Nothing occurred to test their peace 
principles for some time : a law, however, w^as passed 
(1673) exempting from penalty those who had conscien- 
tious scruples against military service, but not relieving 
them from civil duties, and requiring all to aid in carry- 
ing out of danger women, children, and weak persons, also 

1 Gough, vol. iv. , pp. 218-226, where papers are given in full, as also in 
Ilallowell, " Pioneer Quakers," pp. 57-70; Brooks Adams, " Emancipation 
of Massachusetts," p. 32T ; " Acts and Resolves of the Province of Massa- 
chusetts Bay," Boston, 1869, vol. ii., p. 494, etc. 

2 Bowden, vol. i., p. 296. 

212 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. hi. 

" to watch to inform of danger." In 1675, however, their 
peace principles were severely tried. The colony was 
asked to join with the other New England colonies in pre- 
paring for the Indian War then impending, but she, the 
governor being William Coddington, declined to join in 
the war. This course was not pleasing to the majority of 
the colonists of Providence Plantations. Though the latter 
suffered, Warwick being burnt and Providence set on fire 
during the war, those on the island of Rhode Island 

Sandwich monthly meeting (Mass.) seems to have been 
the first established in America,^ and Scituate was estab- 
lished before 1660.^ There is no reason for doubting that 
a Yearly Meeting was regularly held on Rhode Island from 
1 66 1, when it was set up."* This makes New England 
Yearly Meeting, as it was subsequently called, the oldest 
Yearly Meeting in the world, except that of London. 

It was in 1672 that Roger Williams made his proposal 
for a disputation with Friends ; but though Roger Williams 
speaks of George Fox slyly departing, there is no rea- 
son to suppose that Fox had not left before the challenge 
reached Newport. Roger Williams engaged to maintain 
fourteen propositions in public against all comers. He 
was met in debate by John Burnyeat, William Edmund- 
son, and John Stubs in the presence of a great crowd who 
were gathered in the Friends' Meeting-House. Burnyeat 
rightly characterizes the propositions as " charges." They 
may be judged from the following: " 2ly that ye Christ 

1 Bowden, vol. i., pp. 306 ff. ; Edmundson, pp. 76 ff. 

2 The records are preserved from 1672, tlie first entry being " 4th mo. 
[June] 25, 1672." These were personally examined by the writer of the 
present sketch. 

3 " Mass. Hist. Soc. Collections," Second Series, vol. x. (see Duxbury) ; 
also Bowden, vol. i., pp. 207, 296. 

* Bishop, p. 351. Burnyeat, p. 47, describes the meeting in 1672. See also 
" Letters, etc.," p. 313 ; Fox, " Journal," p. 366 ; Bowden, vol. i., p. 280. 


yt they profess is not ye true Lord Jesus Christ. . . . 4ly 
That they doe not owne ye holy Scriptures. . . . 61y That 
their Prinsipels : & profession are full of contradictions and 

As Roger Williams speaks of William Edmundson as 
" rude," and Edmundson of him as " the bitter old man," 
the dispute must have been a stirring one. Burnyeat says 
Roger Williams "could not make any proof of his charges 
to the satisfaction of the auditory." Three days were 
consumed at Newport, and one day at Providence, Ed- 
mundson and Stubs being the defenders there. Each side 
was satisfied that it had gained the victory. Williams 
clearly had the weaker side, as he really was very ignorant 
of the true views of the Society of Friends.- He was not 
silenced, however, for he wrote an account of the incident 
and defended himself in " George Fox digged out of his 
Burrows," styled by Fox " a very envious and wicked 
book."^ This was replied to by Fox and Burnyeat by 
"A New England Fire-Brand Quenched." These two 
books are good examples of the language which even the 
religious men of the seventeenth century allowed them- 
selves to use."* 

Connecticut followed the example of Massachusetts, and 
on the recommendation of the Council of the United 

1 For Roger Williams's letter and complete list, see " Historical Maga- 
zine," New York, 1858, vol. ii., p. 56. 

2 Edmundson, pp. 64flF. ; Burnyeat, p. 53; William Gammell, "Life of 
Roger Williams," Sparks's " American Biography," vol. iv., Boston, 1864, 
pp. 187-190; James D. Knowles, " Memoir of Roger Williams," Boston, 
Lincoln, Edwards & Co., 1834, p. 338. 

3 "Journal," p. 432. Professor Gammell says that it is "distinguished 
by a bitterness and severity unequaled in any other of his [Williams's] writ- 
ings." (" Life," pp. 187-190.) 

* Both books are rare; Williams's has, however, been reprinted. " Bur- 
rows " in the punning title refers to Edward Burrough, Fox's able coadjutor. 
An account of the incident will be found in Henry M. Dexter's " As to Roger 
Williams," Boston, 1876, but the author all through the book is very unfair 
toward the Quakers. See Hallowell's " Invasion," pp. 61, 73-75. 

214 ^'■^/^' I-^J^J-i^A'-OS. [Chap. hi. 

Colonies the General Court of Hartford passed an act sim- 
ilar to that of Massachusetts, October 2, 1656; this was 
amended so as to be more effective against " loathesome 
heretics, whether Quakers, Ranters, Adamites, or some 
others like them." In 1658 corporal punishment was 
added. ^ New Haven passed similar laws, and executed 
them more severely. Humphrey Norton, in 1657, being 
imprisoned was put into the stocks, flogged on his bare 
back till the bystanders through their strong expressions 
of disapproval stopped it ; he was then branded deeply on 
his right hand with the letter H, signifying heresy, and 
sent back until his fines were paid, which was done by a 
perfect stranger, a Dutchman, out of compassion;- and 
Norton was banished in addition. Other instances of per- 
secution took place, but none so severe.^ Connecticut was 
much more liberal, but that colony never was a fruitful field 
for the Quaker missionaries. 

The first Friends in New York appear to have been on 
Long Island, and to have come from Massachusetts and 
Connecticut. Long Island, at least as far as Oyster Bay, 
was under the jurisdiction of the Dutch. Gravesend was 
settled almost wholly by the English, some of them Ana- 
baptists, and others refugees from the intolerance of Massa- 
chusetts. One of the most prominent v/as a Lady Moody, 
who joined the Friends and had a meeting at her house.^ 

The first Friends who visited New Amsterdam (New 
York) were Robert Hodgson and four companions, three 
being women, who landed in August, 1657. At first they 
were courteously treated by Stuyveiant, the governor, but 
afterward two of the women, who had held a meeting in 

1 "Colonial Records of Connecticut," J. H. Trumbull, Hartford, 1850. 
pp. 283, 303, 324. 

2 Besse, vol. ii., p. 196; Bishop, p. 203. 

3 Burnyeat, pp. 54-58 ; Edmundson, pp. 82 fT. 
* Croese, part ii., p. 157. 


the street, were arrested, cast into prison, and finally put on 
board a vessel bound for Rhode Island. Robert Hodgson 
went on to Gravesend, where he was arrested and, with 
two women who had entertained him, brought back to 
New Amsterdam. The women, who were very roughly 
treated, were discharged, but Hodgson was sentenced to 
work two years at a wheelbarrow with a negro, or pay a 
fine of six hundred guilders. He refused to do either, and 
was most barbarously treated. Finally he was released 
at the intercession of the sister of Stuyvesant, without 
paying a fine or working.^ Persecution was not confined 
to visitors. Inhabitants of Long Island were subjected to 
heavy fines, imprisonment, forfeiture of goods, and banish- 
ment. The severe punishments ended sooner in the New 
Netherlands than in Massachusetts, for on April 16, 1663, 
the enlightened Directors at Amsterdam a few weeks after 
the arrival in Holland of John Bowne, a banished Friend, 
not only gave him permission to return, but sent a letter 
to Stuyvesant breathing a true spirit of toleration. Among 
other things they said : " We very much doubt if vigorous 
proceedings against them [the Quakers] ought not to be 
discontinued except you intend to check and destroy your 
population, which, however, in the youth of your existence 
ought rather to be encouraged by all possible means. . . . 
The consciences of men, at least, ought ever to remain free 
and unshackled. Let every one be unmolested as long as 
he is modest ; as long as his conduct in a political sense 
is irreproachable ; as long as he does not disturb others or 
oppose the government. This maxim of moderation has 
always been the guide of the magistrates of this city, and 
the consequence has been that, from every land, people 

1 Bishop, pp. 213 ff.; Whiting, "Truth and Innocence," p. 121 (bound 
with Bishop); John Romeyn Brodhead, "History of the State of New 
York," New York, Harper & Brothers., 2d ed., vol. i., pp. 636 fif. ; Bryant 
and Gay, " History of the United States," vol. ii., pp. 239 ff. 

2l6 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. in. 

have flocked to this asylum. Tread thus in their steps, 
and, we doubt not, you will be blessed."^ 

Friends increased rapidly on Long Island, and were vis- 
ited by many traveling ministers, some of whom sufl"ered 
much.^ John Burnyeat came in 1666 and again in 1671, 
when he says he " was with them at their Half- Year's 
Meeting at Oyster Bay" ; at the second Half- Year's Meet- 
ing, at the same place, "in the meeting for business" 
he found those who " rose in a wrong spirit against the 
blessed order of the truth. . . . And chiefly their envy 
and bitterness was against George Fox and his papers of 
wholesome advice, which he in the love of God had sent 
among Friends." Burnyeat was successful, before he left, 
in satisfying " Friends in general " of the errors of these 
people.^ This is the first meeting for discipline in New 
York of which there is any record, though Burnyeat's ac- 
count clearly implies such meetings were nothing new.* 

But the most important visit was that of George Fox 
himself, who, on his way from Maryland to New England, 
attended the Half- Year's Meeting at Oyster Bay. In 
company with him were John Burnyeat, Robert Widders, 
and George Pattison. This was the spring of 1672. The 
meeting, Fox says, lasted four days, beginning on the First 
day of the week. " The first and second days we had 
publick meetings for worship, to which the people of the 
world of all sorts might and did come. On the third day 
of the week were the men's and women's meetings, 
wherein the affairs of the church were taken care of. 
Here we met some of the bad spirit, .who were run out 

1 Bowden, vol. i., pp. 309-326; Croese, book ii., p. 157; Bishop, pp. 
213 ff., 422 ff. ; Besse, vol. ii., pp. 182, 237; Brodhead, vol. i., pp. 705-707. 

2 Bishop, p. 424. 

3 Burnyeat, pp. 35, 40-42. The opposition was due to John Perrot's in- 
fluence. Bowden, vol. i., p. 329. 

4 The first official records yet found read: " At a men's meeting the 23rd 
day of 3rd month [May] 1671." 


from truth into prejudice, contention, and opposition to 
the order of truth and to Friends therein." He would not 
allow the disputes to come up in the regular meetings, 
but appointed a special meeting for the " discontented," 
" where as many Friends as had a desire w^ere present 
also." "The gainsayers " were confounded, and "some 
of those that had been chief . . . began to fawn upon 
me and to cast the matter upon others." The force of the 
schism was ended. ^ 

After his visit to Rhode Island and other places in New 
England, already referred to, Fox returned to Long Island 
in the sixth month (August), and held a number of meet- 
ings at Oyster Bay, at " Rye on the Continent," at Flush- 
ing, and at Gravesend. 

William Edmundson, who visited Long Island a second 
time in 1676, found Friends troubled with " Ranters — i.e., 
men and women who would come into Friends' meetings 
singing and dancing in a rude manner, which was a great 
exercise to Friends." He remained some time, and says 
he reclaimed many.^ 

The objection of Friends to oaths, military service, and 
their method of solemnizing marriages brought upon them 
fines, distraints, imprisonment, disfranchisement, and dis- 
qualification for holding office.** 

The meetings in Westchester County were settled from 
New England, and were independent of New York until 
" the 14th of 4th month [June], 1695," when by the direc- 

1 "Journal," pp. 365, 366. Burnyeat names the "chief," and proved it 
" under his own hand," p. 46. Bowden, voL i., pp. 329 fF. 

2 " Journal," p. 94. These " Ranters " may be the ones referred to in a 
petition from the inhabitants of Huntington, L. I., 1677, against Quakers 
who disturbed public worship. " Documentary History of New York," vol. 
iii., p. 209. 

3 " Documentary History of New York," vol. iii., pp. 603-612 ; " Docu- 
ments Relating to the Colonial History of New York," Albany, 1856, vol. iii., 
p. 415; vol. v., pp. 978, 983, 984. 


2l8 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. iii. 

tion of New England Yearly Meeting a general meeting 
was authorized to be held at Flushing, L. I. From that 
time to the present the Yearly Meeting has been regu- 
larly held.^ The Friends must have increased rapidly, for 
on February 22, 1687, Governor Dongan reports "an abun- 
dance of Quakers preachers men and women. "^ 

The first Friend who visited Virginia was Elizabeth 
Harris, who must have come in 1656, possibly in 1655. 
She appears to have persuaded a number to embrace her 
views. In 1657 Josiah Coale and Thomas Thurston came 
on their way to New England. Their coming created an 
uproar ; they were thrown into prison, and, when released, 
required to leave the country. In 1658 an act banishing 
the Quakers was passed. In 1661, after the restoration, 
an act was passed requiring all persons to contribute to 
the support of the established (Episcopal) church. Friends 
were to be fined twenty pounds per month for absence 
from church, and their own meetings were forbidden under 
heavy penalties. In 1662 all who refused to have their 
children baptized were to be " amerced two thousand 
pounds; half to the informer, half to the public." In 
1663 the Quakers were specially named : it provided " that 
if any Separatists above the age of sixteen years to the 
number of five or more assembled at any time and at any 
place to worship not according to the laws of England," 
they were to be fined for the first and second offense, but 
banished for the third. Masters of vessels and those en- 
tertaining Quakers were to be heavily fined. ^ 

1 First known as " the Yearly Meeting held at Flushing," then as New 
York Yearly Meeting. It was held at Flushing until 1777, then at Westbury, 
until 1793, when it was adjourned to be held in New York. The first regu- 
lar meeting for worship in New York City was probably in 168 1. A house 
may have been built in 1698, but it is doubtful; one was built in 1774. 
(James Wood, " MS. History of the Society of Friends in New York.") 

2 " Documentary History of New York," vol. i., p. 1 16. 

3 Neill, "Virginia Carolorum," pp. 252, 292 ff. ; Bancroft, "United 
States" (last revision), vol. i., p. 448; Bowden, vol. i., pp. 339 ff- 


The Episcopalians in Virginia seemed desirous of rival- 
ing the Puritans and the Dutch in persecution, but there 
are fewer instances of personal cruelty. One was that of 
George Wilson, who, after being severely whipped, was 
confined in a loathsome dungeon in Jamestown, where, 
"in cruel irons which rotted his flesh," after a long im- 
prisonment he laid down his life.^ 

The Society of Friends in Virginia was not only troubled 
from without but also from within. Nowhere, perhaps, 
in America was the schism of John Perrot so strong. He 
had gone to the West Indies and America to propagate 
his views, and had visited Virginia. ' Many were attracted 
by his teachings and led away, so that some did not meet 
together in .a meeting once a year, and " were become 
loose and careless." At the height of this movement John 
Burnyeat visited the colony, 1665-66, and earnestly 
labored for the restoration of the erring. He was very 
successful in his mission.- 

Burnyeat's efforts were ably seconded by William Ed- 
mundson, who arrived soon after the former's departure. 
During his visit he went to see Governor Berkeley, whose 
brother he had known in Ireland ; but the governor was 
"peevish and brittle." Some one told Burnyeat, how- 
ever, that the governor must have been in a good humor, 
as he had not called him " dog, rogue, etc."^ 

In November, 1672, George Fox and four companions 
on their return from New England visited Virginia, and 
held many large meetings, setting up meetings for disci- 
pline, and confirming and extending the work of Burnyeat 
and Edmundson. It is said that the number of the Soci- 
ety was about doubled through George Fox's preaching, 
many of the prominent colonists being converted.* 

1 Bishop, p. 351. 2 Burnyeat, pp. 34, 43. 3 "Journal," pp. 60 ff. 
* "Journal," pp. 375-382; Bowden, vol. i., p. 354. The opening entry 
of the Records of Virginia Yearly Meeting states : " This booke begun in the 

220 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. hi. 

It might have been supposed that in Maryland, as in 
Rhode Island, the Quakers would have found rest if not a 
welcome, but such was not the case. Though there are 
good reasons for believing that Elizabeth Harris was in 
Maryland during 1657, the first positively recorded visit 
was that of Josiah Coale and Thomas Thurston in 1658, 
for whose arrest a warrant was issued in July of that year, 
because they had been in the province over a month with- 
out taking the oath of fidelity ; and two weeks later, on 
account of their "insolent behavior" in standing "pre- 
sumptuously covered," they were forever banished, on 
pain of being whipped from constable to constable. Those 
who had entertained them and a man who had refused to 
assist in the arrest of Thurston were whipped.^ 

There were many refugees from Virginia in Maryland, 
as well as many other persons in the colony, who were 
without preachers. To such these earnest preachers 
were most welcome. In 1659 William Robinson and 
others visited Maryland without hindrance. But during 
the Claiborne troubles a militia was organized, and Friends 
suffered much from fines and distraints on account of their 
refusal to bear arms or contribute funds. The names of 
thirty who thus refused and the detailed account of prop- 
erty seized are preserved, showing that they were well- 
to-do.^ In 1660 persecution ceased, and, with a slight 
exception in 1662, for sixteen years there was no act of in- 

year 1673 by the motion and order of George ffox, the servant of God." (MS. 
Records Virginia Yearly Meeting.) Virginia Yearly Meeting, first held at 
Pagan Creek, Isle of Wight County, was afterward held at various places 
until 1845, when it was joined to Baltimore Yearly Meeting. 

1 Besse, vol. ii., p. 380; Neill, " Founders of Maryland," p. 131 ; Archives 
of Maryland, Proceedings of Council, 1636-67, pp. 348-353, 364, 494; 
J. Saurin Norris, " The Early Friends in Maryland," Md. Historical .Soci- 
ety, Baltimore, 1862, pp. 6-9; J. Thomas Scharf, " History of Maryland," 
vol. i., p. 26S. 

2 Besse, vol. ii., pp. 378 fT. ; Neill, " Founders of Maryland," p. 149. 


tolerance. The Perrot heresy, however, was rife, among 
the adherents being Thomas Thurston.^ 

In April, 1672, John Burnyeat "appointed a meeting 
at West River, in Maryland, for all the Friends in the 
province, that I might see them together before I de- 
parted. . . . And when the time appointed came, George 
Fox with several brethren came from Jamaica and landed 
at Pertuxon, and from thence came straight to the meet- 
ing." There was a very large meeting, which continued 
for several days, and " a men-and-women's meeting for 
the settling of things was set up. . . . G. F. did wonder- 
fully open the service thereof unto Friends, and they with 
gladness of heart received advice in such necessary things."^ 
This meeting, the first for discipline in Maryland, was the 
beginning of what was afterward known as Baltimore Yearly 
Meeting, and has been held regularly ever since. George 
Fox held meetings and established meetings for discipline 
at various places on both sides of Chesapeake Bay. One 
interesting episode of this visit was the effort to reach the 
Indians. He had two " good opportunities with the Indian 
emperor and his kings " on the eastern shore, and was 
listened to with the deepest attention. On his return from 
New England he visited Maryland, in September, 1672, a 
second time, when he held many meetings, and some with 
the Indians. The meetings among the colonists were 
largely attended, sometimes a thousand being present. 
His account of this journey is most graphic.^ 

" His labors had been incessant ; neither wintry sleet 
nor the burning sun detained. He forded streams, slept 
in the woods and in barns with as much serenity as in the 

1 Burnyeat, p. 2,2,. 

2 Ibid., p. 43. See also Fox's " Journal," p. 364, who says " five or six 
justices of the peace " and the speaker of the Assembly were present, besides 
" many of the world's people." (J. S. Norris, " TheEarly Friends," pp. 12 fl.) 

3 "Journal," pp. 372-375. 

222 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. ]ii. 

comfortable houses of his friends, and was truly a wonder 
unto many."^ 

Fox's visit appears to have been the occasion of start- 
ing a regular correspondence, first between the Friends of 
England and America, then of America as well." 

The sufferings of Friends in Maryland were small in 
comparison with those in other colonies, and the fines and 
imprisonments which they underwent were almost wholly 
~^ on account of their testimonies against tithes, oaths, and 
military services. From 1674 until they gained, in 1702, 
the privileges they sought, petition after petition in re- 
gard to oaths was made to the Assembly and Council, and 
more than once favorably considered by one or both bodies, 
only to be ignored or refused by the proprietaries.^ Mean- 
time the Friends grew in numbers and in influence, so 
strong, indeed, that largely through their opposition the 
act for the establishment of the Protestant religion, in 1691, 
was rendered inoperative ; an act passed in 1694 forbidding 
the Roman Catholic worship was repealed in 1695, through 
their influence and that of the Romanists. Again, these 
two bodies used all their power to prevent the Episco- 
pal Church being made the established church, but were 
only partly successful. The Friends were more success- 
ful in February, 1702/3, in getting the law modified as 
far as " Protestant dissenters and Quakers " were con- 

1 Neill, " Founders of Maryland," p. 145. 

2 Bristol Friends wrote to those of Maryland, " 24th of 9th mo. [November] 
1673." (Bowden, vol. i-, pp. 355, 377-) This epistolary correspondence has 
been kept up to the present day. 

•> Archives of Maryland, Proceedings of Assembly, 1666-76, pp. 354, 492 ; 
Proceedings of Council, 1687/8-93, pp. 57, 221 ; Neill, " Founders of Mary- 
land," p. 164; Bowden, vol. i., pp. 382 ff. ; Besse, vol. ii., pp. 383-388 
J. Thomas Scharf, " History of Maryland," Baltimore, 1879, vol. i., p. 270 
George Petrie, "Johns Hopkins University Studies," vol. x., pp. 35 ff- 
Janney's " Penn," p. 106; T. C. Gambrall, " Early Maryland," New York, 
1893, p. 199. * Scharf, vol. i., pp. 365 ff. 


The first Friends in New Jersey appear to have settled 
along the Raritan River in 1663 ; in 1670 a meeting was 
settled at Shrewsbury, where a meeting-house was built; 
in 1672 George Fox and his companions visited the Friends 
at this place and also at Middletown.^ 

In 1674 Berkeley, one of the proprietors, sold his half 
of the province of New Jersey to John Fenwicke and Ed- 
ward Billinge for ^1000. Both of these men were mem- 
bers of the Society of Friends, and there is some reason 
to think that the acquisition was made for the benefit of 
the Society at large. A difference having arisen between 
these two men, William Penn was chosen arbitrator, who 
made an award. Edward Billinge became embarrassed 
in his circumstances, and he assigned his property to three 
of his fellow-members, one of whom was William Penn. 
This was the beginning of William Penn's personal inter- 
est in America. The subsequent circumstances which led 
to the division of New Jersey into East and West Jersey 
and the disputes with Fenwicke cannot be entered into 
here. John Fenwicke with a company of emigrants landed 
June, 1675, on the shores of Delaware Bay, at a place they 
named Salem. Meantime William Penn and his co-pro- 
prietors issued a statement of their views in regard to the 
government of the province. They said : " Thus we lay 
a foundation for after ages to understand their liberty as 
men and Christians, that they may not be brought into 
bondage but by their own consent ; for we put the power 
in the people. . . . No person to be called in question or 
molested for his conscience or for worshiping according to 
his conscience." - The charter of West New Jersey, known 
as the " Concessions and Agreements, etc.," dated " 3rd 

1." Journal," pp. 365, 370; Burnyeat, p. 45; Edmundson, p. 92. 
'^ S. Smith, " History of New Jersey," p. 80; New Jersey Archives, vol. i., 
p. 228. See also Edmundson, pp. 92, 94. 

224 ^'^^^^ FKI£XDS. [Chap. hi. 

day of March, id^Glj," consisting of forty-four chapters^ 
is drawn up in the spirit of the words just quoted.^ 

In 1677 two hundred and thirty Friends emigrated in a 
body to the new province ; so striking a circumstance as 
this attracted even royal attention, and it is said that as 
the ship was about sailing King Charles II., who was "in 
his barge pleasuring on the Thames, came alongside and 
gave' them his blessing."^ 

The emigrants from this ship founded Burlington in 
1677; other emigrants followed, so that by 1681 four- 
teen hundred had come thither, mostly Friends. Their just 
treatment of the Indians not only secured them from mo- 
lestation, but brought them supplies of maize and venison. 
They were " zealous in performing their religious service, 
for, having at first no meeting-house to keep public meet- 
ing in, they made a tent or covert of sail-cloth to meet 
under " ; they then met in private houses until a meeting- 
house could be built.^ By common agreement, " for the 
well ordering of the affairs of the church " a monthly meet- 
ing was set up " the 15th of the 5th month [July], 1678." 
At the next meeting " it was agreed that a collection be 
made once a month for the relief of the poor and such 
other necessary uses as may occur, ... to be collected 
the First day before the Monthly Meeting."'* On "the 
4th of 7 month [September] 1679," "it was also desired 
that Friends would consider the matter as touching the 
selling of Rum unto Indians [if it] be lawful at all for 
Friends professing truth to be concerned in it."^ The 
earliest Epistle from an American meeting to the Yearly 

1 New Jersey Archives, vol. i., pp. 241 ff. ; Smith, Appendix, pp. 521 ff. 

2 Smith, p. 93. 

^ Proud's " Pennsylvania," vol. i., p. 157. 

* MS. Records, Burlington Monthly Meeting; also Bowden, vol. i., p. 401 ; 
A. M. Gummere in " Pennsylvania ISIagazine of History and Biography," 
vol. vii., p. 249; vol. viii., p. 3, etc. 

5 MS. Records, Burlington Monthly Meeting. 


Meeting in London was sent by Burlington Friends in 1681. 
Friends continued to come to this land of liberty, and vari- 
ous meetings were set up. Burlington Quarterly Meet- 
ing appears to have been set up in 1680, and in May, 1681, 
it was concluded to establish a Yearly Meeting to be held 
in the "sixth month" (August) following. This meeting 
was held for four days. A meeting was held annually 
until 1686, after which for a number of years it was held 
alternately at Burlington and Philadelphia. 

The success which Friends had met with in West New 
Jersey naturally led them to look toward East New Jersey, 
and in 1681 it was purchased by William Penn and eleven 
other Friends; these increased the number of proprietors 
to twenty-four, among whom were included those not 
members. Several of the new owners were Scotchmien, 
among them Robert Barclay, the Apologist ; he was elected 
governor of New Jersey, but never went out himself, ap- 
pointing Thomas Rudyard as his deputy.^ In 1688 the 
proprietors surrendered their political rights to the crown. 

The earliest Friend in the Carolinas of whom there is 
any record is Henry Phillips, who lived where Hertford 
now is, and who was visited by William Edmundson in 
1671 ; he had not seen a Friend for seven years. Ed- 
mundson appointed a meeting, which was attended by 
many people, " but they had little or no religion, for they 
came and sat down in the meeting smoking their pipes." 
He made some impression, however, for they w'ished to 
have more meetings. - 

George Fox in 1672 was the next visitor, and has left a 
graphic account of his visit. ^ Edmundson went to Caro- 
lina again in 1676, and from his account it would seem 

1 Smith, pp. 156, 166; Winsor, vol. iii., pp. 435 ff. ; New Jersey Archives, 
vol. i., pp. 376, 383, 395 ff. ; Whitehead, pp. ii8ff. 
- Edmundson, p. 59. 
•^ " Journal," p. 376. 

226 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. hi. 

that Friends were established there. ^ Though some of 
the inhabitants may have been religious refugees from 
Virginia, the accounts of Fox and of Edmundson do not 
convey that impression. The early Quakers in North 
Carolina appear to have been originally persons without 
religion, and to have been first converted through the 
efforts of these missionaries." 

Monthly and quarterly meetings were set up probably 
as early as 1680, and George Fox, writing in 1681, advises 
the establishment of a Half- Yearly or Yearly Meeting.^ 
In 1698 the Yearly Meeting was set up, and from that 
date to the present has been held regularly. The settle- 
ments were at first on or near Albemarle Sound, but as 
the colony increased in population the Friends spread, not 
only in the northern part of the province but in the south- 
ern, for we find Fox addressing an Epistle to Friends in 
Charleston, 1683, in answer to one sent by them to him 
during the previous year.* During the seventeenth cent- 
ury there was perfect religious liberty in the Carolinas, 
and, as in Rhode Island, Friends were very influential. 
They reached the height of their influence under the ad- 
ministration of John Archdale, himself a Friend. The his- 
tory of this remarkable man has been too much neglected. 
He appears to have become a Friend under the preaching 
of George Fox. He was elected governor by the pro- 
prietaries, his declaration being accepted in place of the 

1 Edmundson, pp. 99 ff. 

2 Bowden, vol. i., pp. 408 ff. ; Stephen B. Weeks, "The Religious De- 
velopment in the Province of North Carolina," "Johns Hopkins University 
Studies in History and Political Science," Tenth Series, Baltimore, 1892, 
pp. 22 ff. 

3 " Epistles," p. 462. Late in 1691 or early in 1692 Thomas Wilson 
and James Dickinson visited Friends in North Carolina, " who were ex- 
ceeding glad to see [them], they not having had any visit by a traveling 
Friend for several years." Wilson also speaks of the wolves roaring " abouf 
the houses in the night time." (Wilson, p. 29; Picl^inson, p. 53-) 

"1 " Epistles," p. 490, 

FENNS YL VAN! A . 2 2 7 

usual oath, and, coming out to the province, brought order 
out of the pohtical chaos. Naturally he regarded the 
scruples of the Friends, and they became members of the 
Assembly, and held other offices. Though never in the 
majority, they held the virtual control from 1694 to 1699. 

Archdale's scruples as a Friend did not prevent him 
from requiring strict obedience to the laws. In 1696 the 
representatives in South Carolina declared that Archdale 
by "his wisdom, patience, and labor had laid a firm foun- 
dation for a glorious superstruction."^ 

The culmination of Quaker influence was reached in 
Pennsylvania. This colony was an obvious result of Penn's 
connection with the Jerseys already referred to, where the 
success of the Quaker colonists must have confirmed in his 
mind a project of securing a safe refuge for his fellow- 
believers from persecution. Tliis idea was not original"^ 
with Penn ; Fox had suggested it in 1660. William Penn 
joined the Quakers in 1667, and almost at once became 
one of the most prominent and influential. The story of 
his life, often told, is outside the limits of this sketch.^ 

As is well known, Penn obtained the grant of Pennsyl- 
vania in return for a debt due by the crown to his father, 
the late Admiral Penn,^ in the year 1681, and at once 

1 Weeks, pp. 32 fT. ; Bancroft, vol. ii., pp. 11, 12 (lust revision) ; Bowden, 
vol. i., p. 415. Archdale wrote a description of Carolina, printed in Lon- 
don, 1707. See W. J. Rivers in \\'insor, vol. v., pp. 285 ff. 

'^ See Frederick D. Stone's admirable chapter on ' ' The Founding of 
Pennsylvania," in Winsor. vol. iii., pp. 469 fT. ; Bowden, vol. ii., chapters 
i-vi. Janney's " Life of Penn " is still the best ; William Hepworth Dixon's 
" Willian^ Penn" is the view of an outsider. John Stoughton, "William 
Penn," London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1882, also by an outsider, is the best 
except Janney's. Macaulay's charges in his " History of England " against 
Penn, though somewhat modified in later editions, still stand in the text. 
They have been disproved by Janney, Dixon, and Stoughton in their "Lives " ; 
by John Paget in his " Paradoxes and Puzzles," Edinburgh, 1874, and others. 

•* The name was given by the king in honor of Admiral Penn ; William 
Penn would have called it Xew Wales, then Sylvania, but without avail ; 
" nor would twenty guineas move the under-secretary to vary the name," 
(" Letter," " 5th of ist mo., 1681," Janney, p. 165.) 

228 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. hi. 

made preparations for the establishment of the new col- 
ony. No founder of a State ever placed before himself a 
nobler object than did Penn. He desired " to establish a 
just and righteous [govenmient] in this province, that 
others miay take example by it. . . . The nations want a 
precedent. . . . I . . . desire that we may do the thing 
that is truly wise and just." Again: "There may be 
room there, though not here, for such an holy experi- 
ment."^ In accord with these fundamental principles, he 
prepared and published his well-known Frame of Govern- 
ment, an admirable document, of which, though he took 
counsel of others, he was unquestionably the chief author.^ 
In the preface he lays down the maxim : " Any govern- 
ment is free to the people under it, whatever be the frame, 
where the laws rule and the people are a party to those 
laws; and more than this is tyranny, oligarchy, or confu- 
sion." What he meant was shown by his words in one of 
his early letters respecting the province : " I propose . . . 
to leave myself and successors no power of doing mischief, 
that the will of one man may not hinder the good of an 
whole country."^ 

In examining the Frame of Government, and particularly 
Penn's charter, it must be remembered that he could not 
do exactly as he wished : as in the case of the death 
penalty, and in his having command of the militia, etc.^ 

In addition to Pennsylvania Penn acquired from the 
Duke of York, as a gift, nearly what is now the State of 
Delaware.^ The reputation of William Penn attracted a. 

1 Proud, vol. i., p. 169; Janney, p. 175. 

2 Dixon tries to show that he was greatly indebted to Algernon Sidney ; 
but see Janney, p. 193 ; Stoughton, p. 177; " Penns and Peningtons," p. t,t,Z- 

^ Janney, pp. 187, 172; Proud, vol. ii.. Appendix II. ; Colonial Records, 
vol. i. ; Hazard, " Annals of Pennsylvania," pp. 558 ff. 

* Sections v., xvi. These documents are printed in full in Proud, Hazard's 
" Annals," and Colonial Records. 

5 Proud, vol. i., p. 202; Colonial Records, vol. i. ; Hazard's "Annals," 
P- 587- 


large number of emigrants, not only from Great Britain 
but from the Continent, where a pamphlet descriptive of 
the province was circulated. Two emigrant ships sailed 
from London in the autumn of i68i. The experiences of 
some of these emigrants on their arrival were remarkable.-' 
Penn sent out a deputy-governor, William Markham, in 
1 68 1, but resolved to go himself, which he did in 1682. 
After a voyage of about two months, during which the 
smallpox broke out on the ship, the "Welcome" arrived 
off New Castle October 27th. On the 29th (O. S.) he 
reached Upland (now Chester), within the bounds of his 
province. He proceeded at once to organize the govern- 
ment. Philadelphia had been first laid out in August or 
September, 1682, and "before Penn sailed for England in 
1684 had three hundred and fifty-seven houses, many of 
them three stories high." " In 1685 William Bradford 
established his printing-press in Philadelphia, the first in 
the Middle Colonies."'-^ Penn found much to do. Among 
other things he visited Lord Baltimore, in order to settle 
the boundaries between Pennsylvania and Maryland, but 
the effort was unsuccessful. Nor w'ere the boundaries 
agreed upon until the running of Mason and Dixon's Line 
in 1762.^ Penn also visited New York, New Jersey, and 
attended the Yearly Meeting in Maryland. He returned 
to England in 1684, impelled thereto by matters, personal, 

1 Watson, "Annals of Philadelphia; " Hazard, " Annals," pp. 537, 557. 

2 Stone, p. 493; Proud, vol. i., pp. 233, 241 ff. ; vol. ii., Appendi.x I. 
(Penn's Concessions). 

3 The real trouble lay in the ignorance of the English Government of 
American geography, which gave rise to many conilicting claims in the 
colonies. Penn was probably right if the spirit of the grants be taken, while 
Baltimore technically may have had the advantage. The dispute has given 
rise to attacks on Penn's character, the most modern of which is that by 
William Hand Browne, in " Maryland," American Commonwealth Series, 
Boston, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1884, pp. 137-149. Penn's character and 
his letters and the documents clear him of the aspersions cast upon him. Full 
references as to the dispute are given by Stone, in Winsor, vol. iii., p. 513; 
see also Proud, vol. i., pp. 265-284,- vol. ii., pp. 206-211. 

2 30 711 E FRIENDS. [Chap. hi. 

affecting his reputation, and others affecting his province 
and the Society of his adoption. No colony in America 
had advanced so rapidly ; schools and a printing-press had 
been established, and a population of seven thousand col- 
lected in less than three years. One of the earliest matters 
to give Penn concern was the just treatment of the Indians ; 
before he went out he had refused a large offer for the 
exclusive privilege of trading with the Indians, and had 
written instructions to his commissioners regarding the 
natives, writing also an Epistle to the latter. He cherished 
hopes of civilizing them and preserving amicable relations 
with them, providing the differences between them and 
the settlers should be Settled by arbitration. He did not 
believe that his charter extinguished their rights to the 
land, but purchased from them the land before occupation.' 

The exact provisions of the famous treaty at Shacka- 
maxon are somewhat problematical, but there is no doubt 
that the common tradition preserves the spirit of the in- 
terview and Penn's high purposes. - 

The majority of colonists at first were Friends from 
England and Wales, but there were also a number from 
Germany, among them some from Kriesheim, Germany, 
near Worms. According to Sewel these were converted 
by William Ames, one of the early Quaker missionaries, 
who visited the Palatinate in 1659. "On the settlement 
of Pennsylvania in America . . . they unanimously went 
thither."^ They settled at a place they called German- 

1 Proud, vol. i., pp. 211-215, 300; Hazard's "Annals," pp. 519, 532, 
581, 595 ; Bow'den, vol. ii., pp. 57 ff. Penn is said to have given in all 
about ;,r20,ooo to the Indians. (Bowden, vol. ii., p. 72.) 

2 Stone, in Winsor, vol iii., p. 513, and " Pennsylvania Magazine of His- 
tory," vol. vi., p. 217; Janney, p. 213. The well-known picture of West 
gives a totally wrong idea of Penn's appearance ; far from being a portly, 
middle-aged man, he was only thirty-eight years old, athletic, active, and 

3 Sewel, p. 196; Proud, vol. i., p. 219; " Pennsylvania Magazine of His- 
tory," vol. iv., p. I. 

PEAWS YL VA NIA . 2 3 1 

town. Such was the origin of this well-known division of 
Philadelphia. Among the Germans was Francis Daniel 
Pastorius, the hero of Whittier's " Pennsylvania Pilgrim." 

It would be interesting to give the history of this ex- 
periment in government in Pennsylvania, but the limits of 
this sketch and its character forbid it. Suffice it to say 
that though the proprietor and his government were not 
without great trials and testings, if prosperity, peace with 
the Indians, and development are any criterion, Penn's ex- 
periment must be pronounced a success, at least for the 
first ten years. Under Penn's deputies and the royal ad- 
ministration there was much political disorder, but in spite 
of this the colony developed satisfactorily in material pros- 
perity, so that in i 700 it was one of the most prosperous 
of all the English colonies. 

"Our first concern was to keep up and maintain our re- 
ligious worship," so writes one of Penn's companions on 
the " Welcome."^ The meetings were first held in private 
houses, but meeting-houses were soon built. The first 
monthly meeting was held " the 9th day of the Eleventh 
month [January, 1682/83], being the third day of the 
week, 1682," "and every third meeting shall be the 
Quarterly Meeting." Within three months nine meetings 
for worship and three monthly meetings had been set up. 
There were a few Friends in the province before Penn ac- 
quired it, and there appears to have been a monthly meet- 
ing at Upland (Chester) in 1681.- 

1 Richard Townsend. Proud, vol. i., p. 229; Bowden, vol. ii., p. 17. 

2 Bowden, vol. ii., p. 19; Michener, p. 50. There is an account of these 
early settlers, some of them claiming to be Friends, in the "Journal" of 
Jasper Bankers and Peter Sluyter (Long Island Historical Society Publica- 
tions, vol. i., Brooklyn, 1867). There is no doubt from the description that 
they were of those who had " run out from the truth," and who gave P'ox, 
Edmundson, and Burnyeat so much concern. As this account has been 
recently quoted as a fair description of the Friends of this period (Browne's 
" Maryland," p. 135), this notice seems called for. 

232 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. hi. 

The Friends of the new colony attended the Yearly 
Meeting at Burlington, and in 1683 a proposition was made 
that there should be a Yearly Meeting for Friends of all 
the North American colonies ; but this was not acceptable 
to the other bodies of Friends, and nothing came of it. 
Yearly Meetings were held in Philadelphia during 1683 
and 1684, and an effort was made, by sending Epistles to 
" Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and all thereaway ; also the 
other way to New England and Rhode Island," to in- 
duce the distant Friends to send two or three delegates 
to Philadelphia as a center. Women Friends also held a 
Yearly Meeting, and sent an Epistle to the Women Friends 
of England.^ In 1685 it was concluded that the Yearly 
Meeting should be held alternately at Burlington and 
Philadelphia ; a Yearly Meeting of ministers was also es- 
tablished. In 1685, 1686, and 1687 Friends attended from 
Maryland, New York, and Long Island. The large and 
growing body was not, however, without its troubles, for 
in 1 69 1 began the schism of George Keith, which afTected 
not the religious organization but the political organization 
as well, helping to deprive Penn for a time of his province.- 

1 "The Friend" (Philadelphia), vol. xviii., p. 134. 

2 George Keith was a Scotchman, a man of unusual ability, l)ut ill balanced. 
He was highly educated, and was brought up as a rigid Presbyterian. How 
he came to join the Society is not known. He was for about thirty years 
a stanch upholder of the views of Friends and bore his full share of the 
" sufferings for the truth." He took an active part with Penn and Barclay 
in public disputes in defending the doctrines of the Society. Before he went 
to America he had occasioned some anxiety on account of speculative opinions 
which he had embraced. In 1687 he ran the dividing line between East and 
West Jersey, and in 1689 he removed to Philadelphia on his appointment as 
head-master of the " public school " just started, which still flourishes, the 
^Villiam Penn Charter School. At the end of a year he was released from 
the position at his own request. His opposition to the Society first made 
itself openly manifest at this time — why, it is hard to tell, though Gough inti- 
mates that disappointment at not being recognized as leader on the death of 
George Fox (1690) occasioned his defection. He was disowned by the P>iends 
in America, 1692. Appealing to the various meetings in Pennsylvania and 
New Jersey, he carried his case to the London Yearly Meeting, 1694; after 
occupying the careful attention of that meeting, and the one in 1695, he was 


This schism shook the Society in the Middle Colonies, and 
also in England, to its foundations. There was much acri- 
mony exhibited on both sides, but Keith seems to have 
been violent in his language and overbearing in his manner. 
To his opponents he certainly appeared to be an " apostate," 
and it is not unnatural that they should have used strong 
language. He accused two ministers of teaching that the 
inward Christ alone was sufficient for salvation ; he charged 
that the discipline was lax ; that Friends had departed from 
their testimony and practice against war ; he wished changes 
made in various ways ; and openly in a meeting accused 
Friends of meeting together " to cloak heresies and deceit." 
There is no doubt that some of his charges were true as 
to individuals and that there was some truth in others, but 
the way in which they were preferred, and their wholesale 
character, was, to say the least, altogether out of order, 
while in others his charges were without foundation. The 
documents issued of^cially by the Society in England (see 
p. 201) and in America show incontestably, that, whatever 
individuals might say, the Friends in 1693, as a body, 
were sound on the fundamental doctrines of the Christian 

disowned in London also. This action was without ]Drecedent, and it is hkely 
that the EngHsh Friends only took cognizance of the case because the schism 
liad extended to England. Keith joined the Church of England in 1700, was 
ordained, and in 1702 was sent to America by the Society for the Propagation 
of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. His mission was not a success so far as 
converting the Quakers was concerned. After an absence of about two years 
he returned, was given a living in Sussex, where he died in 171 6. He was 
particularly bitter against his old associate Penn. Croese, book i., p. 150; 
book ii., p. 164, and Appendix; Sewel, pp. 504, 510, 535, 616, 636, 648, 
664; Gough, vol. iii., chaps, vi., viii., xiii. ; Dickinson, p. 52; Wilson, p. 32; 
Bownas, pp. 54 ff. ; Bowden, vol. ii., chap. iv. ; Smith, " History of Penn- 
sylvania" in Hazard's "Register of Pennsylvania," vol. vi., pp. 242 fif. ; 
Turner, chap. xiv. ; Burnet, " History of His Own Time," p. 670, London, 
Reeves & Turner (1883) ; see also " George Keith," Dictionary of National 
Biography, London and New York, Macmillan & Co., 1892. 

1 " A Confession of Faith," etc. " Given forth from the Yearly Meeting 
at Burlington, the 7th of 7th moneth, 1692." Printed and sold by William 
Bradford in Philadelphia, 1693 (2d ed.). "The Christian Doctrine and 

234 ^'^^^ FRIENDS. [Chap. hi. 

Keith's followers set up a new organization, called the 
" Christian Quakers and Friends," but the organization 
did not last very long. Keith's connection with political 
matters must be passed over, as well as the general political 
matters of the colony. The colony was taken possession 
of by the crown, mainly on account of the refusal of the 
Assembly to vote any money for military purposes, though 
Penn's arrest for treason, and the Keith disorders had their 
influence in bringing it about. The colony was restored 
to Penn in 1694. It has been claimed that he did not at 
that time object to granting money or men for the defense 
of the frontier, but it appears that he simply said he would 
transmit to the Assembly " all orders that the cro^vn might 
issue for the safety and security of the province."^ 

The Society continued to increase in numbers, so that 
in I 700 there were forty individual meetings or congrega- 
tions. There were many Welsh settlers, who took up land 
to the north and west of Philadelphia, and a number of 
meetings were established among them. 

Thus the seventeenth century closed with congregations 
of Friends established in all of the colonies under the Eng- 
lish rule, while in Pennsylvania they were the controlling 
element, and in the Jerseys and Maryland they had much 
influence in modifying legislation. 

Society of the People called Quakers, cleared, etc.," Sevvel, pp. 619-626; 
"Christian Doctrine," etc., pp. 6 ff . (in part); Barclay, "Inner Life" 
(p. 375) note), says that Keith was disowned " for his unbearable temper and 
carriage." The London Epistle for 1695 speaks of " G. K." as continuing 
in " the same spirit of discord and opposition." (" Epistles," vol. i., p. 82.) 
For the account of an eye witness in London ; [John Whiting] " Persecution 
Expos'd," etc., London, Assigns of J. Sowle, 1715, p. 231. For a graphic 
account of a personal dispute with George Keith at Lynn, Mass. ; Journal of 
John Richardson, Philadelphia, Joseph Crukshank, 1783, pp. 103-127. 

1 Bowden, vol. ii., p. 134; Janney, chap, xxviii., p. 395; Proud, vol. i., 
chaps, xi.-xiii. 



It will be impracticable to describe in detail the progress 
of the Society during the eighteenth century, nor is it 
needful, for there are no essential features of difiference in 
any one part of the country. During the earlier years of 
the century. Friends, except where the privileges had been 
attained, were striving to obtain relief from the imposi- 
tion of taxes for the support of a state church, from the 
requirement of taking judicial oaths, and from contribut- 
ing directly to the support of the army. Their success 
in these respects in Massachusetts, Maryland, and North 
Carolina has been already referred to, and, with the ex- 
ception of military service, most of the privileges sought 
were acquired. In Pennsylvania, owing to the increase 
of immigrants belonging to other denominations, to the 
colonial wars, and to the dissatisfaction of the English 
Government with the peace principles of the Quakers, the 
majority of Friends in the Assembly decreased, until in 
1756 six Friends vacated their seats in the Assembly, and 
at the next election others declined to be candidates. And 
from this time Friends discouraged members of the Soci- 
ety from holding any office.^ The exact time when the 

1 Colonial Records, vol. vii., pp. 82,. 84, 86, 292 : Archives, vols, v., vi. ; 
Hazard's " Register," vol. v., p. 115; "The Friend" (Philadelphia), vols, 
xix., XX. ; Thomas F. Gordon, " History of Pennsylvania," Philadelphia, 
Carey, Lea & Carey, 1829, pp. 281, 321 ff., 339 fF. ; Bowden, vol. ii., pp. 
278 ff. ; A. C. Applegarth, in " Johns Hopkins University Studies," vol. x. 
pp. 427 fF.; Michener, pp. 274, 281; "Memoirs of Samuel Fothergill," pp. 


236 ' THE FRIENDS. [Chap. iv. 

political control of the Quakers ceased in Pennsylvania is 
hard to determine. 

The troubles in 1754 and 1755 led to the establishment 
in 1756 of the first " Meeting for Sufferings " in America. 
Its object primarily was to extend relief and assistance to 
Friends on the frontiers who might sufifer from the Indians 
or other enemies, to represent the Yearly Meeting, and to 
look out for the interests of the Society, etc., but not to 
" meddle with matters of faith or discipline."^ 

The Society of Friends continued to grow in the vari- 
ous colonies during the first half of the century, but it 
is difficult to arrive at a satisfactory estimate of the total 
number of members. In 1 700 the members in England 
and Wales have been estimated at about 66,000.- The 
estimates about 1 760 of the number of Friends in Pennsyl- 
vania and New Jersey would make the number of Friends 
in America toward 50,000, perhaps more.^ But it is im- 
possible to give accurate data. Bownas, who visited 
America in 1702, and again in 1726, notices the great 
increase in numbers during the intervening period, and 
speaks of several meetings of fifteen hundred people.'^ 
With the cessation of persecution and the increase of 
the number of adherents had come laxity in regard to the 
good order of the Society, and a declension in spiritual life. 
This was true of England as well. The journals or lives of 

240 ff. ; Catharine Phillips, pp. 133, 141 ; Gough, vol. iv., pp. 458 ff. In 
Sandwich, Mass., Quarterly Meeting Records, " No members of Select 
Meeting [ministers and elders] to hold public office of honor, profit, or 
trust," nor members of "Meeting for Sufferings," "8th Mo. 1788." 
" Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography," vol. x., p. 283. 

1 Michener, pp. 31 ff. ; Bowden, vol. ii., p. 283. The New England Meet- 
ing appears to have been established 1775. " Book of Discipline," Provi- 
dence, John Carter, 1785, p. 77; Baltimore, in 1778, " Discipline," p. 46. 

2 J. S. Rowntree, p. 73 ; Barclay, '' Inner Life," p. 633. 

3 Sparks's " Franklin," vol. iv. , p. 165 (53,000), but this is much exag- 
gerated; Hazard's " Register," vol. v., p. 339 (25,000); Bowden, vol. ii.. 

PP- 245' 376. 

■4 " Journal," p. 139. 



Bownas,^ S. Fothergill,- Catharine (Payton) Phillips/^ Wil- 
liam Reckitt,^ Mary (Peisley) Neale,^ John Griffith,*^ and 
others are full of testimony to this fact in America, and 
the manuscript records of the various meetings also bear 
ample evidence to the same effect. The tendency was, as 
Bownas remarks, to run to form rather than " to abide in 
the power and life." There was a great increase in the 
amount of secular business transacted in the meetings for 
discipline ; the dress and manner of life seemed to attract 
as much if not more attention than the spiritual condition 
of the church." In 1755, in New England especially, a 
great awakening took place. All who could not show 
their right of membership were set aside and were required 
to make new applications for admission. Queries relative 
to the state of the church were directed by the Yearly 
Meetings to be answered, and the replies sent to the 
Yearly Meeting, and there was a general overhauling of 
the church-membership. The comparatively informal 
rules of order soon became a Discipline. This movement 
extended throughout the Society, and marks the begin- 
ning of the rigid rules of order which so long characterized 
it. As has been well said: "The increased attention to 
the Discipline, valuable and important as it was, was too 
often associated with too rigid an adherence'to forms, and 
a tendency to multiply rules, and to make the exact carry- 
ing of them out, in a degree at least, a substitute for that 

1 " Life," p. 139. 

2 " Memoirs of Sanuiel Fothergill," Liverjiool, 1843, pp. 159, 166, 168, 
187, 214, 280 (a long account of the meetings in America in 1756). 

3 " Memoir of Catharine PhiHips," Philadelphia, 1798, pp. 107, 118, 138. 
* " Life," London, 1776, pp. 138, 151. 

^ " Life of Samuel and MaryNeale," London, 1845, pp. 335, 342, 353, 356. 

^ " Journal," 1779, pp. 371, 375, 381, 394. 

' Sandwich Monthly Meeting, MS. Records, "8th Mo. 1751": Savory 
Clifton, .an aged minister, " under dealing for asking an hired minister to pray 
for Butler Wing's sick family." " 1722, 2nd Mo." : "^ Friends should not wear 
periwigs." " 1761, 4th Mo.": "Gravestones requested to be removed." 

238 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. n. 

patient and discriminating wisdom, tempered with love, 
which should ever characterize Christian discipline."^ 

Now began tlie general expulsion of members for marry- 
ing non-members, the severe rules in regard to dress and 
language, and many of those customs and outward prac- 
tices which a later generation has supposed were peculiar 
to Friends from their foundation. 

There had been various Rules of Discipline obserxed in 
England,- but no Book of Discipline, as such, had been 
adopted by the Yearly Meetings until 1738, when a man- 
uscript Book of Rules was sent down from the Yearly 
Meeting in London to the quarterly meetings. This con- 
sisted of quotations from the minutes of the Yearly Meet- 
ing and from "Advices " given forth at various times. ^ In 
America the " Canons and Institutions" (p. 200) or a modi- 
fication of them were in general use, and though there were 
rules of " good order of truth " adopted by the Virginia 
Yearly Meeting in 1702, and seventeen "Queries " adopted 
in 1722, these were not a formal Book of Discipline.'* Nor 
is it likely that the references in the Philadelphia Records 
in 1707 and 171 1 refer to anything more.^ The regular 
Books of Discipline appear to have been generally adopted 
about 1759,^ but they were all in manuscript.'^ With the 

1 J. B. Braithwaite, " Memoirs of J. J. Gurncy," vol. ii., p. 13. 

2 See " Treatise Concerning Christian Discipline, Compiled with the Ael- 
vice of i. National Meeting of the People called Quakers held in Dublin, in 
the Year 1746," by John Rutty, M.D. Printed in the year 1752. 

3 Barclay, " Inner Life," p. 527. It was not until 1783 tliat this collec- 
tion was printed. (London, James Phillips, 1783.) It has been the basis 
of all subsequent editions and " Disciplines " issued by the English Friends. 

* Virginia MS. Records, " 2ist to 23d of 7th mo. [.Sept.] 1722." 

5 Michener, pp. 250 ff. 

6 The Virginia Yearly Meeting adopted a comparatively full Discipline in 
1758, which was referred to as a "Book of Discipline " in an Epistle to " the 
Yearly Meeting for Pennsylvania and New Jersey," dated " the 13th of the 
5th mo. to the igtli of the same inclusive, 1758." Baltimore Yearly Meet- 
ing adopted a Book of Discipline in 1759 (no Queries) ; New England eitliei 
in I7|;q or 1760. (Sandwich Monthly Meeting Records, 8th mo. 1760.) 

"^ New England Friends revised their Discipline in 1785, compared it with 


adoption and strict carrying out of a system of outward 
rules came an almost total cessation of aggressive efforts 
to spread the doctrines of the Society, and even of mis- 
sionary efforts. The visits of ministers from the Old 
World or from the various parts of America were almost 
wholly confined to the established congregations, and their 
service to warning, exhorting, or encouraging the mem- 
bers to be faithful to the " testimonies " ; not that the gos- 
pel was not preached, nor the shortcomings seen, but the 
remedy was thought to be a fuller support of the Disci- 
pline. In other words, the " policy was purely defensive ; 
they placed great reliance upon penalties as a means for 
preventing misconduct, and they endeavored to erect ex- 
ternal barriers against the contamination of the world." 
They were truly philanthropic, and, as will be seen, advo- 
cated earnestly the cause of the Indian and the slave. But 
their spirit in spreading the gospel was widely different 
from that of their predecessors of the seventeenth century. 
Never, perhaps, has there been a better example to illus- 
trate the fact that a church which is not aggressive is sure 
to decline. When the records are examined and the lists 
of disownments for " marrying out " and for external in- 
fractions of the Discipline are read, the wonder is that 
there was any Society left ; well has the period been 
termed the "middle age of Quakerism." Not till the 
nineteenth century w^as there an abatement of this policy. 
Another serious result must be noticed. There grew 
up an idea that internal guidance alone was essential, 
and this led to a depreciation of the importance of the 
Scriptures and of the ministry of the Word. This is 
shown by the decrease in the number of the ministers and 
the great increase in the number of the elders and over- 

that of London, 1783, and tliose of the neighl)oring Yearly INIeetings, and 
printed it 1785. Philadelpliia followed in 1797. 

240 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. iv. 

seers. -^ For fifty years or more there was no regular mem- 
bership ; those who attended the meetings and were be- 
lieved to be converted and to hold the views of the Society 
were deemed members. Such were invited to sit in the 
"men's meetings" (meetings for discipline), and also the 
children of such when old enough and thought suitable.'"^ 
Lists of such persons were made out and kept,^ and such 
as behaved disorderly were " denied," " disowned," that 
is, expelled. It was not until 1737 that positi\'e legisla- 
tion on membership was enacted by London Yearly Meet- 
ing. The occasion which brought it about was the diffi- 
culty in determining who were the "poor," and it was 
determined that : " All Friends shall be deemed members 
of the Quarterly, Monthly, and Two- Weeks Meeting with- 
in the compass of which they inhabited or dwelt the ist 
day of the Fourth Month, 1737"; and "the wife and 
cJiildrcn to be deemed members of the Monthly Meeting 
of which the husband or father is a member, not only dur- 
ing his life but after his decease.""^ Such is the minute 
which fixed upon the Society the peculiarity of " Birth- 

1 Elders appear to have been first appointed in England in 1727, and over- 
seers in 1752, and probably about the same time in America. In the early 
days, elder and minister were often synonymous, and in New England in 
1728 an overseer appears to have been equivalent to the modern elder. (See 
also Rutty's " Discipline," pp. 26 ff.) Though Philadelphia as early as 1714 
appointed elders " to sit with the ministering friends," the name appears to 
have been used in its popular sense. (Barclay, " Inner Life," pp. 523, 527; 
Sandwich Records, " ist Mo. 24, 1728-29"; Michener, pp. 169 fif.) It 
should be said that persons with some of the duties of overseers were ap- 
pointed as early as 1668, but the " overseer " as now understood was not 
appointed until 1752. 

'^ " When about twenty years of age I was invited by Friends to be a mem- 
ber of the men's meeting in Cork" (1.677). (" Life of Joseph Pike," by 
John Barclay, London, Darton & Harvey, 1837, p. 39; see also pp. 40, 131 ; 
Barclay, " Inner Life," pp. 361 fl.) 

3 Beck and Ball, pp. 253, 254: W. Tanner, " Lectures on the Early His- 
tory of the Society of Friends in Bristol and Somersetshire," London, A. W. 
Bennett, 1858, pp. 63 fT. 

* Barclay, "Inner Life," p. 520; Rowntrcc, p. 112. It sliould be said 
that Frien<!s from the earliest da)'s have taken care of tb.cir own poor. 


right Membership." The vast importance of this step was 
not appreciated for some time. It changed the Society 
of Friends from a church of believers, at least in theory, 
to a corporation or association of persons some of whom 
always would be among the unconverted. Youth had 
been no hindrance in the early days, provided the person 
was believed to be converted ; now membership for a large 
number had no connection with conversion. Another 
effect was to lessen the desire to proselytize. It is still 
an open question with many whether " Birthright Mem- 
bership " has not been an evil.^ This rule was adopted in 
America probably about 1755, when the revival of the 
Discipline took place. 

It remains to notice three important matters : two in 
which the Friends of the seventeenth century took the 
deepest interest, and one which was the cause of much 
sufiFering — relations to the Indians, relations to slavery, 
and the American Revolution. 

The feelings of George Fox toward the Indians have 
already been referred to. In his travels he held a number 
of meetings with them, and after his return from his visit 
to America wrote to Friends in that country urging them 
to preach the gospel to the natives.- The early mission- 
aries frequently had meetings with the Indians, and the 
intercourse between the natives and Friends was almost 
without exception friendly. Penn's treatment of them in 
the Jerseys and afterward in Pennsylvania is a matter of 
common history.^ It is stated that from 1733 to 1751 

1 See "Friends' Quarterly Examiner," London, 4th mo., 1872, p. 249; 
also R. Barclay, " On Membership in the Society of Friends " (answer to 
above article), London, Samuel Harris & Co., 1872. Some hold the view 
that the action of 1737 was simply a declaration of what had been a custom, 
but there does not seem to lie sufficient evidence for this position. 

2 " Epistles " 252, 355, 371, 379, 412 (pp. 253, 426, 462, 477, 553). 

3 Smith's " New Jersey," pp. 95, 144, 533, etc. : Proud, vol. i., pp. 194, 
213, 300; vol. ii., p. 292; A. C. Applegarth, "Johns Hopkins University 

242 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. iv. 

^8366 were expended for the benefit of the Indians in 
Pennsylvania. Great efforts were made to prevent the 
sale of liquor to them, and to prevent cheating in trade. 
" Strict amity between the Indians and the first and early 
settlers of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and their succes- 
sors [lasted] for above seventy years. "^ The first serious 
hostilities were in 1755, and were contemporaneous with 
the retirement of the Friends from political supremacy. 
The Friends did not cease their efforts for the amelioration 
of the natives. They were visited from time to time by 
traveling Friends,- and in 1756 an association was formed 
for " gaining and preserving peace with the Indians by 
pacific measures." Friends also believed it right to be 
present when treaties were being negotiated, to influence 
right treatment if nothing else. They were charged with 
abetting the Indian enemies of the province, and greatly 
slandered.^ The Meeting for Sufferings in Philadelphia 
again and again had the Indians under consideration, and 
also addressed Epistles to them, and later established 
schools and missions for them, the first near the New York 
and Pennsylvania boundary line near the Alleghany River ; 
later still (1803) a mission was established at Tunessasa, 
which still exists (1894). The interest was not confined 
to Pennsylvania, but was felt in Maryland, New York, and 
New England as well, where committees were appointed 
and active work done.* 

Studies," vol. x., pp. 450 ff. ; Colonial Records, Pa., vols, i., ii., iii. ; Winsor, 
vol. iii., pp. 473, 489; " Historical Magazine," vol. vi., p. 64; "Journal" 
of John Richardson, Philadelphia, 1783, pp. 123 ff. (an interesting descrip- 
tion by a spectator of one of Penn's treaties with the Indians) ; " Journal" 
of Joseph Oxley, London, 1837, p. 323. 

1 Proud, vol. ii., p. 325. 

2 John Woolman, "Journal," p. 144 (1763). 

^ " The Friend" (Philadelphia), vol. xx., pp. 13 ff. 

* For an extended account see " North American Indians and Friends 
... to the year 1843," London, Edward Marsh, 1844; Bowden, vol. ii., 
chap. iii. ; see alio the various volumes of " The Friend" (Philadelphia). 


The position of the Society as to slavery for a long time 
was, like that of the other religious bodies of the day, 
toleration. George Fox first came into contact with slav- 
ery in 1 67 1 at Barbadoes, and his heart was stirred up 
against the sinfulness of the slave-trade and filled with 
compassion for the slave. He regarded the slave as a 
man, and plainly told the slaveholders that if they were in 
the condition of their slaves they would consider it " very 
great bondage and cruelty." He also urged that negroes 
should be dealt with "mildly and gently," and after cer- 
tain years of servitude be set free. His Epistles to Amer- 
ica frequently urge upon Friends to preach the gospel to 
them, coupling them with the Indians.' William Edmund- 
son, in 1675, at Barbadoes preached to the negroes, and 
also told the governor that Christ had died for them as for 
all men.- William Penn in the articles of " The Free Soci- 
ety of Traders " (1682) provided for the freedom of negro 
slaves after fourteen years' service.^ But, like the Friends 
generally, he seems to have adopted the custom and owned 
slaves, and, through no fault of his own, died a slave, 
owner, his purpose and directions to set his slaves free not 
having been complied with."^ The negroes were well 
treated by the Friends, Penn particularly exerting himself 
on their behalf.'' But the most decided effort on behalf 
of the slave was made by the German Friends, already 
mentioned (p. 230), who at a "meeting at Germantown held 
the 1 8th of the Second Month [April], 1688," addressed 

1 "Journal," p. 354; "Epistle" 355 (p. 406); "The Friend" (Philadel- 
phia), vol. .wii., p. 29. 

2 "Journal," pp. 71 ff. 

3 Bowden, vol. ii., p. 190; Watson's "Annals," p. 480; " Pennsylvania 
Magazine of History," vol. v., p. 45. 

* Janney, pp. 435 ff. ; Michener, p. 331 ; Bowden, vol. ii., p. 196. There 
are reasons for thinking that Penn's secretary took slaves for debt without 
his knowledge. 

5 Proud, vol. i., p. 423; Michener, p. 336. 

244 ^'^^^ FRIEXDS. [Chap. iv. 

a protest " against the traffic in the bodies of men," and 
against handUng " men as cattle." To the monthly meet- 
ing this was " so weighty " that it was referred to the 
quarterly meeting, and further referred to the Yearly 
Meeting the same year, which records: "A paper was 
presented by some German Friends concerning the lawful- 
ness and unlawfulness of buying and keeping negroes. It 
was adjudged not to be proper for this meeting to give a 
positive judgment in the case, it having so general a rela- 
tion to many other parts ; and therefore at present they 
forbear it." This document is believed to be the first 
official protest of any religious body against slavery.^ This 
action of the sturdy Germans was not without effect, for 
in 1693 it was advised that no slaves should be bought 
" except to set free," and in 1696 the Yearly Meeting ad- 
vised Friends " not to encourage the bringing in of any 
more negroes," and also that they should be brought to 
meetings, and in other respects well cared for. After 
this, at the instance of Penn himself, laws were passed 
by the Assembly designed to improve their moral condi- 
tion ; and after he had left, laws were enacted to restrict the 
importation of slaves into the province, and in 171 1 their 
importation was absolutely prohibited. The law was not, 
however, acceptable to the Council in England, and it was 
rejected by that body, as was also another law imposing a 
prohibitive duty of twenty pounds per head on every slave 
imiported. The Pennsylvania Friends continued to agi- 
tate the subject among themselves, but though individuals 
and different monthly meetings felt strongly, the Yearly 
Meeting would not commit itself to any positive action. 
Among those who were earnest in the cause were Ralph 

1 Michener, pp. 331 flf.; Bowden, vol. ii., pp. 192 ff. "The Friend" 
(Philadelphia), vol. xvii., p. 125; " Pennsylvania Magazine of History and 
Biography," vol. iv., p. 28, where the document is given in full. 


Sandiford, who published a treatise against slavery in 
1729, the eccentric Benjamin Lay, and Anthony Benezet, 
who were untiring in their efforts, by their hves, their 
mouths, and their pens. 

Tlie most noted apostle of freedom to the slave, as well 
as the most attractive, was John Woolman, whose simple 
"Journal" has charmed thousands. To his faithful efforts 
was largely due the action of Philadelphia Yearly Meet- 
ing in 1758, which directed a " visitation " of all who held 
slaves, and decided that all who should " be concerned in 
importing, selling, or purchasing slaves " should be for- 
bidden to sit in meetings for discipline. It was not, how- 
ever, until 1776 that slaveholders were to be "disowned" 
(expelled) if they refused to manumit their slaves. New 
England Friends in 1758 and 1769 passed strong " min- 
utes " in regard to slaver}^ and in 1772 Friends were " dis- 
owned " for not setting their slaves free ; in i 782 no slaves 
were known to be held by members of that meeting. In 
New York it was made in 1776 a disciplinary offense to 
buy, sell, or hold slaves. In Virginia the steps taken were 
somewhat similar to those in Pennsylvania, but in 1 784 
meetings were directed to disown those who refused to 
manumit their slaves. Baltimore Yearly Meeting took 
similar action in 1777. " In the year 1787 there was not 
a slave in the possession of an acknowledged Quaker." 
The interest in the negroes and in the slaves in the slave 
States did not diminish, but for the negro, as for the In- 
dian, the Society has retained a deep interest ever since. ^ 

1 Authorities for the foregoing paragraphs : " The Friend " (Philadelphia), 
vols, xvi., xvii. ; Bowden, vol. ii., chap. viii. ; " Memoirs of Pennsylvania 
Historical Society," vol. i., pp. 366 ff. ; A. C. Applegarth, " Johns Hopkins 
University Studies," vol. x., pp. 447 ff. ; Clarkson, " History of the Slave 
Trade " ; John G. Whittier, " Introduction to Journal of John Woolman " ; 
Roberts Vaux, "Lives of Sandiford and Lay"; "Journal" of John Wool- 
man; "Journal" of John Churchman; Michener, pp. 328 ff. It should 

246 T^i^ FRIENDS. [CuAi'. iv. 

As in England so in America, Friends deprecated any 
appeal to arms for the settlement of difficulties. Reference 
has already been made to this in the case of Pennsylvania 
in 1755. In 1775 they took the same position. Besides 
their " testimony against war," they had always upheld 
the doctrine of submission to the powers that be, where 
conscience did not forbid. It was therefore fully in accord 
with practice and principle that Philadelphia Yearly Meet- 
ing should do all in its power to prevent its members from 
countenancing the approaching warlike struggle with Eng- 
land. Addresses were issued to its own members, and to 
the people at large, setting forth their views. In 1776 
representatives from New England, Virginia, and North 
Carolina attended Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to consult 
on the course to be pursued. With few exceptions, the 
members of the Society everywhere did their best to re- 
main neutral, the object being to avoid all ivarlike meas- 
ures. That they were in sympathy with the desires of 
their fellow-citizens to obtain redress of grievances is shown 
by the fact that in one of the non-importation agreements 
of 1 765 fifty of the signers were Friends. But it was natural 
that their testimonies and addresses against war and their 
peaceable habits during times of great excitement should 
cause suspicion, and that many should misunderstand their 
position. It is altogether likely also that a considerable 
number of the Society, particularly in Pennsylvania and 
New Jersey, really disapproved of severing the bonds unit- 
ing the colonies with the mother-countr}-. In consequence 
of these circumstances the sufferings of the Friends were 
great, especially so in Pennsylvania, where they might 
have expected more consideration. Refusing to serve in 
the army, their property w^as seized to pay for substitutes ; 

be said that to the self-denying labor of John Woolman, who visited Friends 
throughout America, the action of Friends toward slavery is greatly indebted. 


refusing to pay taxes levied especially for warlike pur- 
poses, again their property was seized. In 1779 or there- 
abouts the Assembly enacted a law requiring a test oath 
of all who taught school, which virtually shut out Friends 
from educating their own children, and their remonstrances 
had little effect. But the most aggravated case was the 
arrest and banishment to Winchester, Va., of twenty prom- 
inent citizens of Philadelphia, seventeen of whom were 
Friends, without trial, on false charges, as they and their 
friends insisted at the time, and as was afterward proved.' 

To a greater or less extent the experiences of the 
Friends in Pennsylvania was that of those in the other 
States. In New England some supported the Revolution 
actively, justifying a defensive war, and in Philadelphia 
there were many disownments, and also a small separation 
on the same account in 1781, where the separatists were 
known as the " Free " or " Fighting Quakers."- 

At the conclusion of the war relief came, and Friends 
loyally supported the new government. Soon after the 
inauguration of Washington the Philadelphia Yearly Meet- 
ing sent him an address expressive of good wishes for the 
success of his administration, to which he replied in a 
pleasant and cordial manner.^ 

1 Friends still, in spite of the overwhelming proof to the contrary, suffer 
from these unjust charges. See Winsor, vol. vi., pp. 393, 417; Hildreth's 
" United States," vol. iii., p. 195. 

2 A meeting-house was built for them at Fifth and Arch streets, by " gen- 
eral subscription," in 1783, or, as the inscription on the building, which is 
still standing, says, "Erected a.u. 1783, of the empire 8." The house is 
now occupied by the Apprentices' Library. 

3 See for the foregoing paragraphs, Bowden, vol. ii., chaps, xii., xiii. ; 
Michener, chap, xxxii. ; "Exiles in Virginia"; William Gordon, "American 
Revolution," vol. iv., p. 377; " The Friend " (Philadelphia), vols, xix., xx. ; 
New York Historical Society, " Collections," 1876-78; "Pennsylvania Mag- 
azine of History and Biography," vols, i., ix., xvi., etc. ; Howard M.Jenkins, 
" Historical Collections of Gwynedd" (Philadelphia, 1884), p. 311, note. 



^[It should be remembered that the titles in this chapter are used simply 
for the purpose of distinction, and are those which are employed in the United 
States Census of 1890. As all divisions claim the name of Friends, some 
course like this is necessary.] 

The Separation of 1827—28. 

The separation of 1827—28 sharply divides the earlier 
history of Friends from the later. The Society, which 
had till now presented an almost unbroken front, was to 
be rent into two parts, each sufficiently large to maintain a 
separate existence, and each claiming to be the original 

During the latter years of the eighteenth and the earlier 
portion of the nineteenth century the attention of Friends 
had been more engrossed with the enforcement of the Dis- 
cipline and the carrying out of certain moral reforms than 
with questions of doctrine or with evangeHzation. The 
elders and overseers gradually exercised more and more 
authority, till they, with a few of the more weighty mem- 
bers, virtually controlled the Society. 

In a general way the reading of the Scriptures was en- 
couraged, but it was before the time of low-priced Bibles, 
and quite a number of families did not own a copy, while 
others had but a portion of the book.^ Some Friends only 

1 In a circular issued by the Bible Association of Friends, an association 
founded by the Orthodox body after the separation, it was stated that in 1S32 
four hundred families were without a complete copy of the Scriptures, while 
one hundred and thirty-eight had not even a New Testament. If this was 
the case with the body that laid the greater stress on the importance of the 
Bible, the condition of affairs in the other branch may be imagined. 



read it when inwardly moved to do so ; and some objected 
to "fixing times" for reading, as being a lifeless form.^ 
The lack of biblical knowledge which naturally resulted 
from this was not supplied by any definite teaching. 
Bible-schools were not yet known, and the task of in- 
structing the children was left almost entirely to the par- 
ents, who too often did not attend to the duty, partly from 
the fear of interfering with the work of the Spirit in the 
hearts of their children. - 

The ministry was largely hortatory, and many meetings 
were held in absolute silence. While there is abundant 
evidence that there were among the Friends during the 
whole of this period able ministers and experienced Chris- 
tians who were careful of the younger members, neverthe- 
less the condition of spiritual life throughout the body was 
low, and a large proportion were Friends rather by tradi- 
tion than conviction, and many were careless and some 
unbelieving. The soil was therefore prepared for the in- 
troduction of almost any new opinions that might be 
plausibly presented. 

The most prominent person connected with the separa- 
tion of 1827-28 was Elias Hicks, an eloquent and popular 
minister of Long Island, N. Y.*' He was a man of power- 
ful build, commanding person, and indomitable will. He 
had only an elementary education. His mind was strong, 
logical, intense, and practical, rather than broad or deep. 
His personal influence was great and lasting, and where 
he labored most his following was greatest. 

1 This was the view of Elias Hicks. (See Foster's " Report," vol. ii., pp. 
420, 421.) 

2 " Memoir of Rachel Hicks," p. 34. 

3 He was born in Hempstead Township, Long Island, N. Y., in 1748- 
His father joined the Friends soon after the birth of this son, and it is prob- 
able that Elias Hicks was received into membership about that time. He 
traveled much as a preacher, his last journey being when he was eighty years 
of age. He died in 1830. (See "Journal.") 

250 THE FRIENDS. [Chai'. v. 

As his teachings became the subject of much contro- 
versy, it is necessary to go into them rather fully, in order 
that the reader may understand the ground taken by those 
who objected to him. It must be clearly understood, how- 
ever, that that body of Friends generally called by his 
name has never formally accepted his doctrine, and many 
of its members hold very different views.^ 

There were two sides to his teaching : the practical, 
which for many years formed the greater part of his 
preaching; and the speculative. He was an ascetic, con- 
demning all amusements, as such, saying that even to put 
on a ribbon to gratify one's self was to worship it rather 
than the Almighty.- 

His central position was that " God is a Spirit," that a 
manifestation of his Spirit is given to every man every- 
where, and that this alone, if followed and obeyed, is suf- 
ficient for his salvation. This thought so possessed his 
mind that he came to think that everything outward was 
not only non-essential, but carnal. He went to the logical 
extent of the theory, and held that the coming and work 
of Christ Jesus in the flesh, the Scriptures, and all outward 
teaching were to be classed among the outward things and 
therefore in no sense essential. The " Light within " was, 
he taught, the only light that any one need follow.^ The 
Scriptures can do no more than direct to this inward prin- 

1 Writers of all parties agree that for a number of years he was a sound 
and able preacher. The controversy arose in the latter part of his life. 

2 " Philadelphia Sermons," p. 133. Over a thousand printed pages of his 
sermons were taken down stenographically and printed by M. T. C. Gould, 
but they all belong to the period of the controversy. While Hicks at first 
refused to assume any responsibility for these (" Philadelphia Sermons," 
Advertisement, p. 4), he afterward expressed general satisfaction with them 
(" The Quaker," vol. iv., p. vii.), and near the close of his life writes that 
" in them all objections are answered in regard to my belief and doctrine." 
("Six Queries, etc., to Elias Hicks, etc., with Elias Hicks's Answers." See 
Foster's " Report," vol. ii., p. 434.) 

3 "Philadelphia Sermons," pp. 80-82. 



ciple, and when they have done this they have finished their 
work.^ He taught that they were the best of all books, and 
had been given by inspiration, and were only to be under- 
stood by inspiration, but that without this in the minds of 
the readers they were not only external, but had been pro- 
ductive of "fourfold more harm than good. " - " The gospels 
contain a history, a great portion of which may be true." "^ 
The central cause of the controversy was his teachings 
as to the person and work of Jesus Christ. He taught that 
Jesus was superior to the rest of mankind because he had 
a greater work to perform, just as a man with five talents 
needs greater power than he who has but one.'^ Beyond 
this he taught that God placed Jesus on an equality with 
man. In his scheme Jesus was a man liable to sin, yet free 
from it on account of his obedience, so that at the time 
of his baptism in the Jordan he became the Son of God, 
going through an experience in this respect that all of us 
must go through.^ In his view, Jesus Christ died because 
he was killed by wicked men, just as any other prophet 
was martyred. While Hicks taught that his willingness to 
suffer was a pattern for us, he denied that the Father had 

1 See Elias Hicks's "Answer to Si.\ Queries," Foster's " Report," vol. ii., 
p. 432. 

2 " E. H. to Phebe Willis, 5th mo. 1818." (Foster's " Report," vol. ii., 
p. 417.) In a letter to the same individual, "23rd Ninth mo. 1820" {Ibid., 
vol. ii., p. 420), he writes as follows: " But I may Add that I sometimes 
think that if they [the Scriptures] are really needful and useful to a few who 
make a right use of them, yet as I believe they are doing great harm to mul- 
titudes of others, whether it would not be better for the few who find Some 
comfort and help from them to give them up for a time untill the wrong use 
and abuse of them are done away. ... It w^ould be a very easy thing for 
divine Wisdom and Goodness to raise up and qualify some of his faithful 
Serv3.nts to write scriptures if he should think best, as good and as competent 
for the generation in which they lived, and likely would be much better, than 
those wrote so many hundred years since," etc. 

3 "Philadelphia Sermons," p. 315. 

* "Answers to Six Queries," etc., Foster's "Report," vol. ii., p. 433; 
" Philadelphia Sermons," pp. 10, 11, 292. 

5 "New York Sermons," p. 96 ; " Philadelphia Sermons," pp. 69, 70, 162. 

252 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. v. 

sent the Son into the world to suffer, and he maintained 
that when the trial came Jesus had no alternative, he must 
be faithful and suffer, or lose his standing with the Father 
and not be saved with God's salvation.^ That the death 
of Christ is of any value to us beyond the example of it. 
Hicks denied.^ 

It must, however, be borne in mind that Elias Hicks 
was not simply iconoclastic in his teachings. He believed 
that men are saved by the power of God, and he held that 
what 'he was presenting was the simple spiritual gospel, 
freed from all the man-made additions and externalities. 
He himself states emphatically that he had experienced 
the power of what he was preaching about. There is a 
passage of much beauty in his journal in which he de- 
scribes the kind of Saviour that man needs : one who is all 
the time with him to save him at the moment help is 
needed.^ He seems to have thought that in order to em- 
phasize the inward it was necessary to deny the outward. 
He distinctly admits differing from the first preachers in 
the Society of Friends on the subject of the atonement, 
maintaining that the light was not clear in their day on 
this subject, and they were not therefore to blame for not 
holding the broad views he thought were the true ones."* 

1 " The Quaker," vol. i., p. i6. 

2 Foster's " Report," vol. ii., p. 424. As there are frequent references in 
his writings to Christ as the Saviour, the following passage from his "Jour- 
nal " will explain what he means by the term: "Therefore all the varied 
names given in Scripture to this divine light and life, such as Emmanuel, 
Jesus, sent of God, Great Prophet, Christ our Lord, Grace, Unction, Anointed, 
etc., mean one and the same thing; and are nothing less nor more than the 
spirit and power of God in the soul of man, as his Creator, Preserver, Con- 
demner, Redeemer, Saviour, Sanctifier, and Justifier. " ("Journal," p. 330.) 

3 "Journal," p. 304. 

* " Letter to Phebe Willis, Ninth mo. 1820," Foster's " Report," vol. ii., 
p. 421. 


TJie Orthodox Party. 

Previous to the troubles that immediately preceded the 
separation, circumstauces both in England and America 
liad contributed to turn the attention of Friends particu- 
larly to the consideration of their position on the work and 
person of Jesus Christ. In the early years of this century 
the rise of the "New Lights" in New England drew away 
a nuiTiber from the Society. They openly denied the di- 
vinity of Christ, and held not a few extravagant notions, 
which resulted in very disorderly proceedings, especially 
in Massachusetts. They were finally after much trouble 
got rid of, and they came to nothing as an organization, 
having no element of cohesion.^ 

It will be seen that these events, while they served the 
more strongly to define the position of Friends on an or- 
thodox basis, also aroused them to a sense of danger, and 
to the necessity of being increasingly careful in their state- 
ments and teaching to emphasize what they felt some had 
forgotten. With some slight difference of opinion they 
held to the simple statement in the Gospels concerning the 
miraculous birth of the Lord Jesus, and to his essential 
oneness with the Father and with the Holy Spirit, though 
they preferred not to use the word Trinity, as being non- 
Scriptural. While not calling the Bible the "Word of 
God," which name they reserved for Christ, they firmly 
believed in its inspiration. While the Spirit was primary, 
they maintained that the Scriptures bore testimony to the 
Spirit and the Spirit to the Scriptures, so that to be com- 
pletely furnished both are needed. They held that the 
sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross was necessary for the 
sins of the whole world, and that through this sacrifice the 
gift of the Spirit is given to every man that cometh into 

1 Hodgson, " History," vol. i., pp. 5S ff. 

254 ^'-^-^ FRIEXDS. [Chap. v. 

the world. They beHeved that the hght of Christ shone 
into the hearts of all, and that every one would be judged 
according to the light given to him.^ 

As early as 1805 a prominent Friend objected publicly 
to the doctrines of Hicks.- The high esteem in which 
Elias Hicks was everywhere held made opposition to him 
difficult, and people were slow to believe that there could 
be any unsoundness in his ministry ; but gradually the op- 
position grew. One reason for its slow development was 
that his discourses were generally on moral themes. He 
also used many of the famiUar phrases common at that 
time among Friends, and would teach what the Ortho- 
dox considered unsound in a few sentences only. His 
opposers afterward complained that in this way he misled 
many, who accepted his views unconsciously. They also 
accused him and his sympathizers of using expressions 
which sounded correct but which were capable of other 

The Orthodox party found able supporters in English 
ministers, who about this time traveled extensively among 
Friends in America. Their advocacy and influence were 
great. Thomas Shilletoe, William Forster, Elizabeth 
Robson, and Anna Braithwaite were among the most 

1 The views here given are understood by writers generally to have been 
held by the Orthodox party, so it has not been considered necessary to occupy 
space with references. Janney, however, is mistaken in thinking that they 
held extreme views on the atonement, or that those who afterward opposed 
Joseph John Gurney were inconsistent in not having indorsed Elias Hicks. 

2 " Memoirs of Stephen Grellet," vol. i., pp. 142, 143; Hodgson, vol. i., 
pp. 123 fif. 

3 John Comly, a leader among the Hicksites in Pennsylvania, relates the 
following of himself. A Methodist minister asked him if he believed that ' 
Christ was the son of Joseph or the son of God; he answered, " The latter, 
undoubtedly," and also assented to the question as to whether we have access 
to God by his blood. The minister was satisfied, but John Comly adds : 
" Whatever external or material ideas he attached to the terms of his ques- 
tion, the answers were given with reference to the spirituality of Christ," etc. 
(" Journal " of John Comly, p. 350.) 


The trouble began in Philadelphia, and the separations 
elsewhere were due to it. There was on both sides an ex- 
ceedingly strong admixture of personal feeling all through 
the struggle, which, however much it may be regretted, 
must always be borne in mind. 

The first open conflict of importance took place during 
the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of 1822. This was oc- 
casioned by the question of sanctioning a document pre- 
pared with reference to a new'spaper controversy, in 
which a statement of certain doctrines of the Society was 

But the pivot of the whole movement was the clash be- 
tween Elias Hicks and the Philadelphia elders. The lat- 
ter were induced, by letters from New York, and also by 
statements of those who had heard him preach within the 
limits of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, where he was travel- 
ing with due credentials from his own meeting, to seek a 
private interview with him in relation to his reported un- 
soundness. To such an interview he finally acceded. But 
on meeting him they found a number of his friends pres- 
ent. This was not what they thought had been agreed 
upon, and so they withdrew. A correspondence followed, 
in which PLlias Hicks did not satisfy the elders. It was 
held on the one hand that a minister traveling with the 
proper credentials was bound to be accepted so long as he 
committed no disciplinary off'ense ; while on the other hand 
the elders claimed that their action was in reference to 
doctrines preached since his leaving home. Hicks, mean- 
while, finished his work in Philadelphia and returned to 

1 The publication was entitled " Letters of Paul and Amicus," first ap- 
pearing in a Wilmington (Del. ) newspaper, afterward published in book form. 
The document was prepared hy the "Meeting for Sufferings," and consisted 
chiefly of extracts from standard writings of Friends. It was distinctly Or- 
thodox, and was objected to for doctrinal reasons, and for being in the nature 
of a creed. The opposition was so great that it was not adopted. The Or 
thodox Yearly Meeting afterward issued it. (Hodgson, vol. i., p. 137.) 

256 THE FRIENDS. [CiiAi'. v. 

New York, with a written indorsement given him by one 
of the monthly meetings. So great was the f eehng aroused 
that this latter meeting took steps to remove its elders on 
the ground that they had unjustly spoken against an " ap- 
proved minister"; while one of the quarterly meetings 
took measures to replace its representation in the Meeting 
for Sufferings by those who sympathized with Hicks. Both 
these measures were extra-disciplinary and without prec- 
edent, the latter being contrary to a recent action of the 
Yearly Meeting. 

There were charges and counter-charges of infractions 
of the Discipline, so that party spirit ran high on both 
sides, and the real question at issue was obscured. One 
reason for the strong feeling which prevailed was that the 
Hicks party did not appreciate how deeply the Ortho- 
dox party felt in regard to anything which in their view 
tended to lessen the work of Christ. Doctrines, which to 
the Hicksites were unimportant, to the Orthodox were es- 
sential. The former did not object to individuals holding 
them, but to insist on them as essential they could not 
understand. The result of this was that the opposition to 
Hicks was regarded as personal-, as arising from unwor- 
thy motives, and as persecution. On the other hand, the 
Orthodox seem to have been unable to understand the 
motives of their opponents, and would show them no 
leniency. With such feelings between the leaders of the 
two sides, separation was inevitable. The Orthodox ap- 
pear to have utterly failed to grasp the tendency of the 
times. The great movements in the direction of political 
and intellectual liberty that arose toward the close of the 
eighteenth century were having their effect upon the 
Friends. There was a spirit that rebelled against the au- 
thority of the elders, and proclaimed that the true principle 


of Friends was democratic.^ Elias Hicks undoubtedly ap- 
pealed to this element. 

John Comly, of Byberry, Pa., appears to have been the 
first to decide that the trying condition of afifairs could 
have no outcome but separation. As the Yearly Meet- 
ing of 1827 drew on, he traveled in different parts of the 
territory of the Yearly Meeting^ and held conferences with 
those like-minded with himself, but found comparatively 
few ready for such a move. So it was determined to make 
one more effort to gain control. There seems to have 
been no thought of compromise on either side. The first 
thing was to secure the appointment of a clerk to the 
Yearly Meeting who would be favorable,"^ the present clerk 
being strongly Orthodox. The three quarterly meetings 
who sympathized with Hicks sent up decidedly more rep- 
resentatives than customary, in two cases double the usual 
number.* The representatives, on whom devolve the re- 
sponsibility of nominating clerks, met, and had such a long 
and stormy session that the meeting at large reassem- 
bled before they had come to a conclusion. This, accord- 
ing to custom, resulted in the officers of the previous 
year retaining their places : they were Samuel Bettle, clerk, 
and John Comly, assistant. As the latter was arranging 
for a division of the body, he strongly objected, but was 
prevailed upon to act. The next morning he again ob- 
jected, on the ground that there were two irreconcilable 
parties in the meeting, and proposed adjournment. No 
date being mentioned, this proposition was taken by many 

1 Up to this time copies of the Philadelphia Discipline were almost exclu- 
sively in charge of the "overseers and clerks," and, in the language of one in 
1825, they were " kept as secret and as sacred as the books of the Hindoos." 
(Preface to privately printed copy of Discipline, Philadelphia, 1825.) 

2 " Journal," pp. 311 flf. 

3 See chapter on Organization, p. 273. 

4 Foster's " Report," vol. i., p. 332. 

258 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. v. 

as meaning that the Yearly Meeting should be dissolved, 
so the proposition was not accepted. 

It is needless to describe the sessions of that year. The 
sympathizers with Hicks were holding all along private 
meetings perfecting plans for making " a quiet retreat from 
the scene of confusion," and at the same time taking part 
in the business of the meeting. Near the close of the 
sessions a proposition came in from the Women's Meeting 
to have a committee appointed to attend all the lower 
meetings with authority to assist and help them. This 
was being strongly opposed by the Hicksites and some of 
the Orthodox, when a young man arose, and stated that 
he had attended the previous evening a meeting held by 
the Hicksite sympathizers, in which plans for a separation 
were being perfected. The information was so unexpected 
that some, as his report was not absolutely accurate, denied 
it. Others acknowledged it, and the committee was ap- 
pointed.^ . 

John Comly and his Friends held a conference after the 
Yearly Meeting had adjourned, and issued an address in 
which they stated that the fundamental position of Friends 
is that " God alone is the Sovereign Lord of 
CONSCIENCE, and that with this unalienable right, no 
power, civil or ecclesiastical, should ever interfere." They 
proceed to say that they feel bound to preserve it " unfet- 
tered by the hand of man, and unalloyed with prescribed 
modes of faith, framed in the will and wisdom of the 
creature." They then explain how the unity of Philadel- 
phia Yearly Meeting has been interrupted, " that a division 

1 The last act of the united meeting was to agree to send money to North 
Carolina Friends to assist them to remove some free negroes out of the State 
who were in danger of losing their liberty. The quarterly meetings afterward 
contributed their various quotas through the regular treasurer, and this, in 
connection with the fact that the Yearly Meeting had been allowed to adjourn 
as usual, was held by the courts as evidence against the claim that the Yearly 
Meeting had been dissolved. 


exists among us, developing in its progress views which 
appear incompatible with each other, and feelings averse 
to a reconciliation. Doctrines held by one part of Soci- 
ety, and which we believe to be sound and edifying, are 
pronounced by the other part to be unsound and spurious. 
From this has resulted a state of things that has proved 
destructive of peace and tranquillity. . . . Measures have 
been pursued which we deem oppressive, and in their 
nature and tendency calculated to undermine and, destroy 
those benefits, to establish and perpetuate which, should be 
the purpose of every religious association." ^ Later on in the 
address they say : " We feel bound to express to you . . . 
that the period has fully come in which we ought to look 
towards making a quiet retreat from this scene of confu- 
sion." At the same time they seem to anticipate a time 
when peace might be restored, and they say that they 
have no new doctrine nor gospel nor discipline to propose. 

The Orthodox were not slow to make use of this ad- 
dress. They pointed out that in it feelings averse to a 
reconciliation were acknowledged ; and that the Orthodox 
claim, that the troubles were caused by doctrines which 
the Hicksite sympathizers considered sound and the Or- 
thodox did not, was distinctly admitted as the primary 
cause of the confusion. There was no complaint against 
the doctrines preached by the Orthodox. 

Later, as we have hinted, the claim was put forward 
that the proceedings of the Orthodox in controlling the 
Yearly Meeting had virtually dissolved it and had reduced 
it to its original elements, so that a reorganization was 
necessary. At the time, however, it is clear that the 
Hicksites regarded themselves as Separatists.^ 

1 Address "To Friends within the Compass of the Yearly Meeting held 
in Philadelphia." (Foster's " Report," vol. ii., pp. 453, 454.) 

2 Some months later, one of their prominent members, Halliday Jackson, 
writes : " We could never have calculated on such progress as has been made 

26o THE FRIENDS. [Chap. v. 

In June the Hicksites called another conference and issued 
another address,^ in which they propose to hold a " Yearly- 
Meeting for Friends in unity with us, residing within the 
limits of those Quarterly Meetings heretofore represented in 
the Yearly Meeting held in Philadelphia." The call invited 
the monthly and quarterly meetings to send representatives 
to meet in Philadelphia in October, " in company with other 
members favorable to our views, there to hold a Yearly 
Meeting of men and women Friends, upon the principles 
of the early professors of our name," etc. The partisan 
character of this call which practically excluded a large 
part of the membership, and the invitation to the monthly 
meetings to send representatives, which was undisciplinary, 
were further reasons given by the court in New Jersey for 
its decision in favor of the Orthodox party, who had con- 
tinued without interruption to carry on their Yearly Meet- 
ing.2 The proposed meeting was held and largely attended, 
and it was decided to meet thereafter in the spring, before 
the time of the Orthodox Yearly Meeting. This Yearly 

in so short a time." He says that by the autumn five of the eleven quarterly 
meetings had sent representatives, and that others had joined and that by 
spring all would have done so, though he admits that in all of them there 
were divisions of the meetings that would " adhere to the old establishment." 
His calculation that four fifths of the membership would declare for his party 
was far too large, but there is no doubt that they had the decided majority, 
and it was on this, and on their freedom from doctrinal restraints, that they 
founded their claim to be the Yearly Meeting of Philadelphia, and called 
the members of the " old establishment " separatists. (Foster's " Report," 
vol. ii., pp. 474, 475.) , ., ^ 

The numbers actually claimed by the Hicksites were i8»4b5, whde they 
credited the Orthodox with 7344, and put down 429 as undecided. The 
Orthodox disputed these figures, and claimed that there were not that num- 
ber of Friends in the Yearly Meeting. Still, they admitted that the majority 
were with the Hicksite body. (See Foster's " Report," vol. ii., pp. 461, 495 ; 
for Hicksite testimony on the point, see vol. ii., p. 176; for the Orthodox, 
see vol. ii., pp. 388, 389.) 

1 Foster's " Report," vol. ii., p. 455. 

2 The Hicksite side is fully stated by Janney in vol. iv. of his " History," 
and the Orthodox by Hodgson in vol.'i. of his " History." _ The position 
taken in the present sketch is that of Judge Ewing in his " Decision," Report 
of the T'-enton Trial, pp. 1-27. 

THE SEPAKATIO^y OF 1827-28. 26 1 

Meeting, in October, was noteworthy in that it was at- 
tended by EHas Hicks, and that it had a direct bearing on 
the separation that followed in New York. 

Immediately after the undivided Yearly Meeting had 
closed in the spring of 1827, both parties commenced 
active operations, and in most of the quarterly meetings 
scenes more or less disorderly were enacted. The Ortho- 
dox, armed with authority from the Yearly Meeting, were 
firm and unyielding in their demand that all who had, as 
they said, separated from the body should be excluded 
from attending the meetings for business, and by this 
course greatly increased the number of the opposing party. 
There were painful scenes also in connection with the pos- 
session of the meeting-houses. Officially, the Hicksites 
had taken and continued to take a very moderate position 
as to the property, advising their adherents to suffer wrong 
rather than disturb the peace. ^ This advice was not, how- 
ever, followed, and although it is probable that the dis- 
orders were committed by younger members, who were 
simply members by birthright, the Orthodox maintained 
that the older members also were at fault. The Hicksites 
early in the struggle offered to compromise the question 
of property on the basis of numbers. - 

The reason the Orthodox gave for the ground they 
took was that they regarded themselves as trustees for the 
property that had been placed in the hands of Friends 
for specific purposes, and that they were bound to see 
that those purposes were carried out; that the question 
of numbers was not in the case, and that they could not 

1 See " Green St. Meeting Address, Sixth mo. 1827, loth mo. 1S27." 
(Foster's " Report," vol. ii., pp. 457, 458.) 

2 The position taken by the Orthodox has been attacked sharply in a recent 
publication, "Divisions in the Society of Friends," Thomas H. Speakman, 
Philadelphia, 1893, second edition enlarged. For accounts of disorderly 
proceedings in regard to meeting-houses, see " The Friend," Philadelphia, 
vol. i., pp. 15, 21, 28, 47, 61, etc. 

262 'J'HE FRIENDS. [Ch.M'. \. 

divide property so that part of it would go for the support 
of doctrines they considered contrary to the fundamental 
position of Friends.^ 

The feeling was strongest in Philadelphia. In other 
places where separations occurred there has been much 
less, and in New York and Baltimore the Orthodox have 
accepted propositions to divide the Yearly Meetings' prop- 
erty on the basis of numbers at the time of the separation, 
in each case the Hicksites paying over to the Orthodox 
the amount agreed upon by both as being fair. In the 
succeeding New York Yearly Meeting, in the early sum- 
mer of 1828, the presence of some of the members of the 
Hicksite body- from Philadelphia precipitated a separation 
which appears to have been a foregone conclusion. The 
Orthodox refused to proceed with the business while those 
they considered " disowned " members were allowed to 
remain. Not being able to accomplish their wish, they 
with the clerk withdrew; but not until considerable dis- 
order had occurred was the separation completed. They 
pursued the same policy, however, as vv^as followed by the 
Orthodox in Philadelphia, and disowned all the Hicksite 
adherents. Here the proportion of the membership was 
about two to one in favor of the Hicksites. A separation 
followed in Ohio, which was the most disorderly of any. 
The Hicksites and Orthodox were about equally divided, 
the former being most to blame for the disorder. A few 
in Indiana sided with Hicks, but separated very quietly 
and not during the time of the Yearly Meeting. In Balti- 
more Yearly Meeting at least four fifths of the membership 
went with the Hicksites. The few Orthodox waited in the 
meeting till the adjournment of the session that had so de- 

1 "An Appeal to the Legislative Council, etc., of New Jersey, on Behalf 
of the Religious Society of Friends. Signeil on Behalf of the Representa- 
tives, etc., Jonathan Evans, Clerk." Philadelphia, printed by Joseph Rake- 
straw, 1836. 


cided, and then org'anized. Though the feeling between 
the bodies in the last two localities was not so great as else- 
where, the Orthodox rigidly disowned each of the Hicks- 
ites. This was to vindicate their claim to be the only 
true body of Friends. Besides this, the disciplinary idea 
was very strong in those days. The Hicksites pursued a 
milder course. The consequence was that many of the 
undecided found themselves with the Hicksites, espe- 
cially when these were in the majority, for the wholesale 
cutting off of members could not be done with entire 

It will be seen that except in Indiana and Ohio the 
Hicksites had a strong majority in each of the five Yearly 
Meetings where a separation occurred. Nevertheless, tak- 
ing the Society at large, they were in the decided minority, 
for there was no attempt to divide the Yearly Meetings 
in the limits of New England, Virginia, or North Carolina, 
and each of these, with the Yearly Meetings of London 
and of Dublin, declared in favor of the Orthodox bodies. 
There was, therefore, no Yearly Meeting that as a whole 
sided with the Hicksites, a point on which the Orthodox 
laid great stress.^ 

The first effect of the separation was to make matters 
worse rather than better, for lawsuits followed, mostly be- 
gun by the Orthodox. The most important, and one in 
which both sides brought forward their representative men, 
was the case before the Court of Chancery in New Jersey, 
in 1830, over some funds belonging to Chesterfield Prepar- 
ative Meeting. The Orthodox based their plea on doc- 
trine, usages of the Society, and legal points, while the Hicks- 
ites refused to reply to any questions of doctrine before a 
civil tribunal, but rested their case on legal and technical 
points. Judge Ewing decided in favor of the Orthodox 

1 Foster's " Report," vol. ii., p. 414. 

264 ^^^ FRIENDS. [Chap. v. 

on legal points, and Associate Justice Drake gave his opin- 
ion to the same effect on points of doctrine. The case 
was appealed, but confirmed by the Court of Errors and 
Appeals, which sustained the first decision by a vote of 
seven to four.^ The chancellor, who was also governor, 
affirmed the decision, adding, with the consent of the court, 
his personal advice that the matter be settled amicably. 
This not being done, a bill afterward passed the New Jer- 
sey legislature, providing that an equitable division in ac- 
cordance with numbers be made. This only applied to 
New Jersey. In Pennsylvania the Hicksites retained most 
of the country meeting-houses, while the Orthodox retained 
Westtown Boarding-school, the Frankford Asylum for the 
Insane, and the bulk of the city property — by far the lion's 
share of the whole. Other lawsuits followed in other 

The Wilbur- Giirucy Controversy. 

Leaving for a future chapter an account of the progress 
of the Society, we will now turn our attention to the other 
important schism that has occurred. In this the Orthodox 
bodies only were concerned. It differs from the separa- 
tion we have just been considering in the longer period 
which it covers, and in the fact that the doctrinal points 
were more intricate, the question turning rather on disci- 
plinary points and methods of administration. 

1 Janney says that all but one of those who voted in the affirmative after- 
ward signed a paper stating that they did it on the legal ground taken by Jus- 
tice Ewing. (Janney's " History," vol. iv., p. 334.) 

2 There were two lawsuits in Ohio: one against the Hicksites for the pos- 
session of property, which was gained by the Orthodox (" Report of the Trial 
of Friends at Steubenville, Ohio, 1829," M. T. C. Gould, stenographer; 
Philadelphia, Joseph Harding, printer, 1829) ; another trial against the Hicks- 
ites, for riot, was decided in favor of the Orthodox, but on appeal to the 
Supreme Court was reversed on technical grounds. (See " The Friend," 
Philadelphia, vol. iii., p. 15.) In New York the Hicks party gained their 
suit, the chancellor being unable to see any difference in doctrine or any 
sufficient plea for the Orthodox claim. In this lawsuit the Hicksites entered 
a statement of doctrines veiy different from those promulgated by Hicks. 


The effect of the separation of 1827-28 on the doctrinal 
position of the Orthodox bodies was to make them insist 
more strongly than ever on the deity and sacrifice of Jesus 
Christ, and on the authenticity of the Scriptures. The 
Orthodox Yearly Meetings, individually and collectively, 
issued declarations of their faith. In England a strong 
evangelical party called " Beaconites " arose in 1836.^ 
These advocated an extremely literal mode of interpreting 
the Bible. They were rather harshly treated, and a small 
secession took place. Though small it was important, on 
account of the high position in the Society of those who 

A leading Friend at this time in England was Joseph 
John Gurney. He had written much on doctrine and in 
defense of the Society of Friends, and is the most promi- 
nent defender of their doctrines since the early days. 
He was supposed to hold views very similar to those of 
Isaac Crewdson, the Beaconite leader, and having been on 
the committee that condemned him, he came in for the 
share of abuse of both sides that moderate men generally 
receive. He possessed a most attractive disposition, was 
very charitable with his great wealth, and was deeply relig- 
ious. At Oxford he had studied under private tutors; he 
also came under the influence of Charles Simeon, the noted 
Low Church divine, and he moved in a circle that was at 
once refined and spiritual, and inspired b)^ desires to raise 
their fellow-creatures ; for he was the brother of the cele- 
brated Elizabeth Fry, brother-in-law to Sir Thomas Fowell 
Buxton, the antislavery leader, and was the intimate friend 
of Wilberforce, Clarkson. and others. He entered heartily 
into all their plans and arrangements, and was an active 
supporter of the British and Foreign Bible Society.- Such 

1 So called from a small book entitled "A Beacon to the Society of Friends," 
by Isaac Crewdson, one of the leaders. 

2 He was born near Norwich, in 1788, and died from the effects of an acci- 
dent while riding, in 1847. 

266 THE FRIENDS. LChai>. v. 

a man was naturally held in high esteem among his friends, 
and soon acquired wide influence. His scholastic educa- 
tion and his mingling with able thinkers outside the Soci- 
ety, together with his desire to spread the truth, as he 
understood it, among others than Friends, all contributed 
to make him depart considerably from the older forms of 
expression that had become obsolete to the general public. 
He was also more systematic in his modes of thought than 
Friends were then accustomed to be, and he undoubtedly 
held more closely to the evangelical school of thought than 
most Friends before his day, laying great emphasis on im- 
puted righteousness, though always insisting upon a right- 
eous life following it. Some objected to the stress he laid 
on the Scriptures, on the sanctity of the Sabbath, and to 
his belief concerning the resurrection, as being legal and 
external. They also feared his learning and his close in- 
timacy in certain forms of religious work with members of 
the Church of England. ^ 

John Wilbur, a minister from New England, visited 
Great Britain during the years 1831-33.- He noticed the 
rising of new methods of teaching, and new positions that 
were being taken in regard to doctrine, and was greatly 
grieved. He could not see how anything could be right 
that in any way tended to alter the formula used by the 
fathers of the Society. He met with a number who sym- 
pathized with him, and continued a correspondence with 

1 He was wrongly accused of denying the universal operation of the Spirit 
of Christ in the soul of man. See his remarks in " Observations on tlie Dis- 
tinguishing Doctrines of Friends," pp. 49-67. 

2 John Wilbur was born at Hopkinton, R. I., in 1774. His parents were 
elders among Friends, and he was educated very carefully and strictly in the 
customs and doctrines of the Society. He was disowned by the Orthodox 
for violation of the Discipline in endeavoring to injure the esteem in which 
J. J. Gurney was held, by circulating reports as to his unsoundness. His 
sympathizers soon after effected an organization and received him cordially 
as a minister. He died in the spring of 1856. (See "Journal" of John 


them after his return from abroad. In 1837 Joseph John 
Gurney, having received the consent of the lower meetings, 
requested that of the Yearly Meeting of Ministers and 
Elders, to his undertaking a journey to America to visit 
Friends and engage in reUgious work. A largely prepon- 
derating number of those present heartily approved of his 
purpose, but there were some who decidedly opposed on 
doctrinal grounds his traveling with their indorsement. 
They were not sufficient to prevent the certificate being 
granted, but by their letters to America did much to in- 
fluence the minds of John Wilbur and others against him. 
The difference between them did not concern what are 
considered the essentials of Christianity. Wilbur laid great 
stress on heeding the light within, and thought Gurney 
placed too much em.phasis on the importance of an out- 
ward knowledge of the facts of the work of Christ, though 
Gurney did not teach that these were essential to salvation. 
He objected to Gurney's position that justification precedes 
sanctifi cation, and maintained that a man is justified only 
as he is sanctified. The difference was really in the defi- 
nition of terms, but the practical result of Wilbur's teach- 
ing is that the individual does not expect to know that he 
is saved. John Wilbur also objected to any method of 
religious instruction but such as was directly prompted by 
the Spirit at the time, and believed that the giving of lect- 
ures on religious subjects, or the distinct teaching of Bible 
truth, as is done in Bible schools, was work done " in the 
will of the creature." Gurney was active in supporting 
systematic Bible study, though he was as strong as any one 
in upholding the necessity for immediate qualification and 
direct guidance in the ministry of the Word. In these 
points Wilbur was certainly nearer the Friends of the pre- 
ceding century than Gurney. In the early years of the 
Society, however, the custom of holding public prearranged 

268 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. \. 

discussions was prevalent, and these were more in line with 
Gurney's methods so far as the principle was concerned. 

On Gurney's arrival in New England, John Wilbur 
waited on him in respect to his doctrines, and found him 
ready to enter into defense of them and to claim that they 
were according to the Quaker standards. This convinced 
Wilbur that Gurney was unsound, and he traveled about 
to warn others of him, and wrote letters to Friends in vari- 
ous parts in the same strain. This called out remon- 
strances from the leading Friends in New England, and 
committees of his Yearly and quarterly meetings endea\'- 
ored to induce him to desist. The position of the com- 
mittee was that inasmuch as Gurney had come to them 
with full indorsements from the Yearly Meeting of Lon- 
don, it was not competent for them to go behind that cer- 
tificate, but that they should accept him, until he made 
himself in some way amenable to their rules. ^ Wilbur, on 
the other hand, maintained that as Gurney had published 
to the world his doctrines, they were common propert)', 
and that he had a right to demand that his soundness should 
be investigated, as these writings had never been with- 
drawn. Neither side would yield, and the frequent con- 
ferences between the committee and Wilbur were fruitless. 

It is not practicable to give a detailed account of the 
troubles which led to a separation in New England and 
the setting up of a Wilburite Yearly Meeting. The Wil- 
burites numbered only five hundred out of a membership 
of over seven thousand, and their claim to 'be tJic New 

1 It will be seen that the plea here was not unlike that used by the sym- 
pathizers of Hicks when the Philadelphia elders sought to interfere with him ; 
but the cases are not altogether identical, for Hicks had promulgated doctrines 
that caused alarm to the elders after his arrival in Philadelphia Yearly Meet- 
ing. Gurney had not done this. Another great difference lay in this, that 
the Philadelphia elders did not have confidence in Hicks's home meeting, 
while New England Friends had unbounded confidence in the parent body in 


England Yearly Meeting was decided against them by the 
courts on every count. ^ 

Although the actual results of the separation were small 
as to numbers, its effects were wide-reaching. Each of 
the two bodies addressed Epistles to the other Yearly 
Meetings, thus bringing up the question of recognition, 
and thus risking a split in every place. None of the Yearly 
Meetings formally recognized the Wilbur body, but all 
except those of Philadelphia and Ohio recognized the 
Orthodox. In these last two there was such a difference 
of opinion that they could come to no decision. The pre- 
vailing sentiment in Philadelphia was one of sympathy with 
the Wilburites, but they were so much in the wrong from 
a disciplinary point of view that their friends had not the 
strength to indorse their action. In Ohio the matter came 
up in some shape almost every year for nine years, the 
feeling growing more and more strong, till it ended in a 
separation in 1854, over a disagreement as to who should 
be clerk, the larger portion going with the Wilburites. It 
is curious that even after the separation the Wilbur body 
of Ohio did not recognize that of New England, although 
it has recently, a generation later, done so. In New York 
a small separation occurred in Dutchess County. 

Two years before the Ohio separation a conference from 
all the Orthodox Yearly Meetings met in Baltimore, and 
adopted a Declaration of Faith, not as a creed, but as a 
vindication, in which the views set forth were greatly in 
accord with those supposed to be Wilburite. So far as 
differences of doctrine were concerned, it seems that there 
need not have been any separation. The Orthodox main- 
tained that the action against Wilbur was disciplinary only, 
and not doctrinal. There was an almost essential differ- 
ence, however, between the attitude of the two parties in 

1 " Report of the Case of Earle," etc., S. C. Bancroft, Boston, 1855. 

270 ^^^^ FRIENDS. [Chap. v. 

regard to Christian work : the Wilbur party being so afraid 
of what they called " creaturely activity," that they con- 
fined themselves almost wholly to their stated Meetings 
for Worship, held largely in silence, as their avenue for 
gospel service. The Orthodox party did this, but added 
to it other methods allowing for more definite and regular 
teaching. Both were active in philanthropic work. 

The separation in Ohio produced another shock through- 
out the Society, and again put every Yearly Meeting in 
danger of a separation, for both meetings again addressed 
all the others, and each claimed recognition as the one true 
body. At the time, the two meetings were distinguished 
by the name of their respective clerks, the " Hoyle Meet- 
ing " being the Wilbur body, and the " Binns Meeting" 
the Orthodox. All the Yearly Meetings on both sides of 
the Atlantic recognized the " Binns body" except Phila- 
delphia, which promptly recognized the " Hoyle Meeting." 
As a consequence, Indiana and North Carolina withdrew 
from further correspondence with Philadelphia. In Balti- 
more a small separation took place. 

The pressure in Philadelphia of the sympathizers with 
the Orthodox bodies was soon so great that that Yearly 
Meeting, to avoid a separation in its own limits, was forced 
to abandon its recognition by way of correspondence with 
the Hoyle body in Ohio, and it gradually retired into the 
isolated condition it has ever since occupied. It allows 
members of each body to sit in its meetings, and will re- 
ceive certificates of membership from each, but will not 
receive ministers as ministers when they change their resi- 
dence. It holds correspondence with no other Yearly 
Meeting, and while it allows ministers from either body to 
take part in its Meetings for Worship, it will neither read 
nor record their certificates, nor appoint special meetings 
for them. Lately the meeting has begun to show evidence 
of greater openness, and its ministers have traveled both 


in America and in other parts of the world. They are 
counted, although many favor the Wilburite meetings, as 
belonging to the Orthodox section. 

The future course of the Wilburite Friends may be 
treated of here. They are perhaps the nearest represent- 
atives in the present time of the Friends of the latter part 
of the last century, except that they are less outreaching 
than they, for that was a time when many ministers trav- 
eled abroad. This may be partly owing to their small 
numbers, and also partly to their attention in spiritual 
matters being turned so exclusively to the past. 

The troubles resulting in the separation of 1827—28 had 
been violent but comparatively short ; the new difficulties, 
from the very delicacy of the points involved, were much 
harder to deal wath. Both parties sufTered. The Ortho- 
dox party needed the balance and weight which the Wil- 
bur element would have afforded, while the latter, without 
the aggressiveness of the former, gradually dwindled in 
numbers and influence, until lately, when there seems to 
be something of a new life among them. Their extreme 
attachment to the forms of a preceding age and the dis- 
position to attach paramount importance to individual 
guidance, yet largely restricting this within lines deter- 
mined by precedent, have had their inevitable result in 
further separation. They are in no sense a proselytizing 
body. They emphasize the weightier matters, and are 
very careful to maintain good works, though they do not 
much afTect organized philanthropy. Their meetings are 
held with a great deal of silence, and in the older meetings 
Bible-schools are not encouraged. It is understood that 
these schools are held in some of the more recently formed 
meetings, for about 1877 a number of the Conservative 
members in the Orthodox Yearly Meetings of Western, 
Iowa, and Kansas, becoming alarmed at the rapid spread 
of innovations which had come in with revival methods, 

272 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. v. 

such as singing, the introduction of " mourners' benches," 
" human leadership " in meetings, the preaching of instan- 
taneous conversion and of instantaneous sanctification, etc., 
withdrew from the main body and formed separate Yearly 
Meetings. Their example for similar reasons was followed 
by their sympathizers in Canada.^ They now form a com- 
plete circle of Yearly Meetings of their own. Their main 
educational establishment is at Barnesville. O. It is diffi- 
cult to gain accurate statistics as to the progress of their 
membership. Their numbers in New England are greatly 
reduced in size. Of recent years it is said that, especially 
in Ohio, where they have their greatest strength, there has 
been an increase, though they are now far smaller than the 
Orthodox body in that State.- 

It remains to state that there is still another body of 
Friends, known to the census as " Primitive." These are 
really Wilburite, but more exclusive and entirely inde- 
pendent. They number less than three hundred, and have 
separated partly from the Wilbur bodies and partly from 
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting on account of what they con- 
sidered the inconsistent course pursued by these meetings 
in not going to the logical extent of their position. Will- 
iam Hodgson, the historian, whose work is frequently re- 
ferred to in these pages, was a member of this branch. 
His " History " gives a full account of their rise and prog- 
ress. The chief interest of these Friends is to " maintain 
the ancient te.stimonies of the Society " intact, with the 
idea of bearing witness to the spirituality of the gospel 
rather than of propagating it. 

1 These new meetings with the older meetings make the body number 
4329 members in the United States. Including Canada, they have six Yearly 
Meetings, viz. : New England, Ohio, Western (Indiana), Iowa, and Kansas. 
At first they did not officially recognize one anotlier by correspondence, but 
lately they have established it. 

2 The Friends who left Indiana ^'c'arly Meeting at tlic time of the separa- 
tion in Ohio .ire members of Ohio Meeting. 



As soon as the separation of 1827-28 was over both 
Orthodox and Hicksites began to strengthen the things 
that remained, and to go forward as best they could 
under the somewhat crippled conditions in which they 
found themselves. Many heartily regretted the separa- 
tion. Nearly thirty years after, Samuel Bettle, who had 
been the Orthodox clerk at the time of the separation in 
Philadelphia, publicly stated that he beHeved patient labor 
and suffering would have been better than division.^ A 
careful study of the times can hardly fail to lead to the 
same conclusion. The Society, never very numerous, pre- 
sented thereafter a broken front with diminished influ- 
ence. That some members would have been lost in any 
case is probable, but the same Book of Discipline continued 
to be used by the Hicksites, with the clauses making it a 
disownable offense to deny the authenticity of the Holy 
Scriptures and the divinity of Jesus Christ.' 

The leaders- who agreed with Hicks held views very 
different from the Orthodox ; but many of those who 
followed them did so in order to maintain what they felt 
was right liberty. In the Yearly Meetings of New York, 
Philadelphia, and Baltimore, where their great strength 
lay, theirs was the popular party. This fact became their 

1 Hodgson, vol. ii., pp. 219, 220. 

2 A late revision of the Discipline in their Baltimore Yearly Meeting has 
removed the clauses relating to disownment, and somewhat weakened the 
doctrinal statements. 


274 '^^^^ FRIENDS. [Chai>. vi, 

strength and their weakness, for while 'they gained num- 
bers they also received the large proportion of those who 
had no settled convictions, but who went with the cur- 
rent. Most of those who sided with the Orthodox did so 
from personal conviction, and therefore added strength to 
them. Many on both sides, however, adopted the course 
they took from social and family motives. 

TJie Hicksites. 

As has been said, it would be most unjust to credit 
Hicks's doctrines to even the bulk of those who are popu- 
larly called by his name. Their fundamental principle was 
that in matters of doctrine there should be the fullest 
liberty. They therefore freely accepted Hicks and in- 
dorsed him as a minister without thereby assuming to 
adopt his opinions.^ The first effect of the separation on 
them, however, at least in Philadelphia, seems to have 
been to cause a reaction in favor of more " orthodox " 
teaching. At all events, they addressed an Epistle to Lon- 
don Yearly Meeting in 1830,- in which they protest that 
they hold essentially the same doctrines as they had always 
held, and that English Friends have misjudged them on 
ex parte testimony. They claim that the dissensions have 
not been caused by doctrinal differences so much as by 
the "exercise of an oppressive authority in the church." 
They also claim to accept the Scriptures with their record 
of Jesus Christ, and the fundamental principle of the light 
of Christ within, as God's gift for man's salvation, and all 
the blessed doctrines which grow from it as their root. 

1 The Orthodox claimed that by this action they virtually took the ground 
that belief as to the outward appearing and work of Jesus Christ is a matter 
of indifference, and thereby opened the door for and invited unbelief. 

2 " Journal " of John Comly, Appendix, p. 638 (containing a copy of the 



They close by referring to their large majority over the 
other branch.^ 

Memoirs of prominent members of the Society about 
this time show that the doctrinal question was by no 
means settled. Lucretia Mott herself met with serious 
opposition on account of her views, which were almost 
rationalistic. But any " orthodox " reaction was over- 
powered, and the era of freedom of expression on points 
of doctrine was established.^ 

Lucretia Mott was probably the ablest representative 
of the extreme radical school of thought in the Society. 
She worked in connection with the Free Religious Asso- 
ciation, was a member of the Anti-Sabbath Association, 
and appeared to have grave doubts on the subject of the 
future life. Her statements concerning Jesus Christ are 
most radical, and she took the ground that the Bible was a 
dangerous book. She had, however, great faith in right- 
eousness, and labored with persistent zeal and untiring 
perseverance on behalf of the slave, often enduring no 
little opposition and sometimes being in danger of vio- 

1 This Epistle was not sent without earnest protest. The clerk of the 
Woman's Meeting at the time, the afterward celebrated I^ucretia Mott, op- 
posed it very positively, on the ground that " it contained sentiments utterly 
opposed to her own convictions, and to what she believed to be the inherent 
spirit of Quakerism." She was overruled, but signed it in her official capac- 
ity. She was so far justified by the fact that the document was not read in 
London Yearly Meeting at large, and was returned in a rather peremptory 
manner. ("James and Lucretia Mott," p. 167, and note.) 

2 Edward Hicks, one of their prominent ministers at the time of the sepa- 
ration, writes in 1840 complaining of the growing power of the Unitarian 
element and says that Elias Hicks never meant to introduce this, but only 
to prevent friends from running to the opposite extreme of Trinitarianism ; 
that before his death the old man, seeing how things were going, had said 
that he was more afraid of his professed Friends than his professed enemies. 
" But," adds Edward Hicks, " had he lived till now, he would have found 
gallery members of his branch of Friends having less reverence for Jesus 
Christ than the Turks, and have heard one of their prominent ministers de- 
clare from a Quaker gallery that a Roman Catholic priest in Ireland had done 
more good than ever Jesus Christ had done." ("Memoirs" of Edward 

276 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. vi. 

lence. Nothing could daunt her in this work, and she 
lived down opposition both inside and outside of her 
Society. It was undoubtedly her strong and successful 
efforts on behalf of the negro that served to turn the at- 
tention of her fellow-members from her radical doctrines 
and to give her the great place in their love and esteem 
which she attained during the latter years of her life. 
This prominence also gave weight to her teaching and 
caused it to be more widely accepted.^ 

There always continued to be a body of Friends be- 
longing to this branch who entertained views closely ap- 
proximating evangelical doctrines, although a minority ; 
so, in full accord with the foundation principle of freedom 
which underlies the Hicksite branch of the Society, one 
can hear very differing views advocated in the same meet- 
ing. As a body this branch has given special attention 
to philanthropy and moral reform. First for the slave, 
and now for peace, total abstinence from alcoholic bever- 
ages, and other movements for the uplifting of humanity, 
their members, both in their corporate capacity and indi- 
vidually, have been active and efficient. In the field of 
literature, Samuel M. Janney, a prominent minister in 
Loudoun County, Va., is acknowledged to have produced 
the most authoritative life of William Penn that has 

This branch of the Society has been much interested 
in education, having had under the care of their members, 
and still having, a number of institutions for learning, of 

1 See " Life of James and Lucretia Mott." She was the daughter of 
Thomas and Anna Coffin, and was born in Nantucket, 1793; she married 
James Mott, Jr., in 181 1, and died in 1880. 

2 Orthodox Friends take exception to his " Life of George Fox" and to 
the doctrinal parts of his " History of Friends," as not giving sufficient 
weight to the evangelical views of early Friends. His section on the causes 
of the separation is a very able production, but is open to the charge of 
special pleading. 


all grades.^ One of the earliest of these was the Alex- 
andria Boarding-school in Virginia, under the charge of 
Benjamin Hallowell. It was opened in 1824, and contin- 
ued thirty-four years. Many sons of slave-owners were 
in attendance. The school attained wide celebrity, espe- 
cially for its superior instruction in advanced mathematics. 
General Robert E. Lee and General Kirby Smith were 
among the students. Benjamin Hallowell was also a 
prominent minister, and was greatly esteemed for his high 
character and abilities. 

A very important school, considered by some as the 
precursor of Swarthmore College, was begun in 1838 by 
John and Rachel Jackson, near Darby, Pa. It was among 
the first which offered advanced educational privileges to 
young women. John Jackson imported the largest re- 
fracting telescope owned by any individual in the United 

Since 1845 there has been a day-schcol for boys and 
girls under the care of the three monthly meetings in 
Philadelphia. It now numbers six hundred pupils, and is 
a very thorough institution. Its students, who belong to 
all denominations, regularly attend midweek meeting for 
worship with their teachers. Other schools which may 
be mentioned are: Friends' Seminary, New York (1861), 
Friends' School in Brooklyn (1867), which together have 
an endowment of $100,000; Friends' Elementary and 
High School, Baltimore, Md. (1864), and the George 
School (1893) at Newtown, Pa. By the will of the late 

1 A great deal of the information concerning the educational institutions 
among Friends of both branches is gathered from an able account of them by 
Edward Magill, LL. D., late president of Swarthmore College, Pa., which is 
to be found in " The Proceedings of the Friends' Religious Congress, Chi- 
cago, 9th mo. 1893." (Hicksite Conference.) Almost the only criticism on 
the paper that can be made is that he writes as if all the institutions were 
under one body, the inference being that they are all Hicksite. Divisions are 
greatly to be regretted, still when they exist they should be recognized. 

278 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. vi. 

John M. George, of Overbrook, Pa., about $750,000 has 
been left for this school. The grounds contain 227 acres, 
and suitable buildings have been erected at an entire cost 
of $150,000. It is a coeducational boarding-school, and 
has scientific, classical, and literary courses. 

Their leading educational institution is Swarthmore 
College, Swarthmore, Pa., founded in 1869. It is under 
the management of members of the Society, both men 
and women being on the board. The value of land and 
buildings, apparatus, etc., is estimated at about half a mill- 
ion dollars, and its permanent endowment fund is about 
the same. The instruction is liberal and thorough. The 
main building was totally destroyed by fire in 1881, but 
was restored in one year by the subscriptions of Friends 
without incurring any debt. Its influence on other schools 
in the Society is great, and many of them, for we have 
only mentioned a few of the number, arrange their courses 
to enable their students to enter the freshman class at 
Swarthmore on certificate of the principal. The Indian 
work of the Society will be treated in connection with that 
of the Orthodox body. 

The present number of the Hicksite body is set down 
in the census of 1890 as 21,992. They are exclusively 
confined to the United States and Canada, and are di- 
vided into seven Yearly Meetings, viz., New York, Gen- 
esee (Western New York and Canada), Philadelphia, 
Baltimore, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Of these Genesee 
and Illinois have been established since the separation. 
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, with 12,029 members, com- 
prises more than half the entire membership. Their 
numbers have seriously declined, for in 1830 they claimed 
to have a combined membership of 31,000 and over, in 
the Yearly Meetings of New York and Philadelphia alone. ^ 

1 Foster's " Report," vol. ii., pp. 461-464. 


Their other Yearly Meetings could not have aggregated 
less than six or seven thousand at that time, and were 
probably more. 

Of recent years there has been a revival of a feeling for 
the support and spread of their views. An enthusiastic 
conference on philanthropic work was held in 1892 at 
Goose Creek, Lincoln, Loudoun County, Va., attended by 
delegates from all parts. Their conference at the Con- 
gress of Religions at Chicago in 1893 was a great success. 
They have flourishing " First-day schools," some of which 
have adopted the International Lessons, and others a series 
of lessons selected and prepared by a Central Committee 
of their own body. They have been very successful in 
forming social and literary organizations which interest 
and hold their younger members. By these means they 
have checked their decrease in membership, and show, we 
understand, in some places an increase. 

The latest statement of their doctrine is given by How- 
ard M. Jenkins, senior editor of the " Friends' Intelli- 
gencer " of Philadelphia, in his " Statement of the Faith 
of Friends"^ at the Congress in Chicago. Without giv- 
ing the statement in full, we may say that they maintain 
that God " directly reveals Himself to the perceptions of 
man; that his light shines into our souls, if we admit it, 
and becomes thus ' God's gift for man's salvation.' The 
Scriptures confirm this immediate revelation, and record 
the visitations of God to the souls of men in past ages," 
and present us with the truths of the Christian dispensation. 
"We therefore," he says, " revere the Scriptures, and de- 
sire to become possessors of the truth they contain." This 
is to be accomplished through the same Spirit by which 

1 " Proceedings of the Religious Congress of Friends in the World's Par- 
liament of Religions, Chicago, 1893," p. 22. See also " What Makes a 
Friend," " Chautauquan," April, 1894, by John J. Cornell. 

28o rilE FRIENDS. [Chap. vi. 

they were given forth. On the divinity of Christ he says : 
" Convinced that the divine nature, the Christ spirit, the 
Word ' which was in the beginning,' dwelt in Jesus in an 
unparalleled and, to our finite perceptions, an immeasur- 
able degree, we regard him (as John G. Whittier has form- 
ulated it) as ' the highest possible manifestation of God in 
man.'"^ There is no statement of their behef as to salva- 
tion through Christ Jesus. 

TJie OrtJiodox. 

In the Yearly Meetings of New England, Virginia, and 
North Carolina there was no break in the progress of 
events, as no separation had occurred in them ; in fact, in 
the State of North Carolina and in the Yearly Meeting in 
Virginia there has been no separation at all at any time, 
so far as is known to the present writers.- In the remain- 
ing Yearly Meetings, one of the first things done was the 
appointment of committees by the Yearly Meetings to 
go throughout the territory under their care, and bring 
together the weak-hearted, and, where necessary, organize 
new meetings. A great deal of difficulty was felt in the 
fact that both bodies claimed the title of the Society of 
Friends, so that there was no easy way of distinguishing 
them. It is largely to this cause that must be attributed 
the long survival of unpleasant feeling that now, after a 
lapse of more than sixty years, is only dying out. Many 
of the meetings of the Orthodox adopted as their official 
title, in addition to their previous name, " in unity with 

1 It seems but justice to J. G. Whittier, who was a member of Orthodox 
Friends, to say that, while he was full of universal love and recognized the 
good in all, he was not a Unitarian in his creed, or even an Arian, but dis- 
tinctly accepted the orthodox view of Christ Jesus, as he personally assured 
the writer of this sketch. 

2 The meetings in Virginia in which a separation took place belonged to 
Baltimore Yearly Meeting, and still do so. 


the ancient Yearly Meetings of Friends," and were incor- 
porated in this way.^ 

Soon after the separation a conference met in Philadelphia 
composed of delegates from each of the Orthodox Yearly 
Meetings on the Continent, which issued a Declaration of 
Faith. This was accepted by all the Yearly Meetings as 
a statement of their belief, but not in any sense as a bind- 
ing creed, and it is now only an interesting presentation 
of the ground then taken by Friends.- 

In 1830 the Friends in Philadelphia formed a Bible 
Society, which soon had branches in different parts of the 
country, and did a great work in supplying Bibles at mod- 
erate cost to the membership.-^ About the same time, Han- 
nah C. Backhouse, of England, visited America (1830-35) 
in company with her husband, Jonathan Backhouse, also 
a minister. She found much neglect of the Bible among 
American Friends, a matter of much sorrow to her, and 
she established the first Bible-schools among them.'^ The 
movement was not rapid at first, but for many years such 

1 Thus the incorporated name of Baltimore Monthly Meeting (Orthodox) 
is " Baltimore Monthly Meeting of Friends for the Eastern and Western 
Districts, in unity with the ancient Yearly Meetings of Friends." The 
last clause is now generally omitted, and for practical use is almost entirely 
given up. 

Another means, employed by both sections, is the appointment of corre- 
spondents, who are well-known Friends, whose duty it is to indorse all official 
documents issued to other Yearly Meetings as evidence of their genuineness. 
They have no other duties except this and to receive the communications from 
other meetings and hand them over to the proper officers. The Orthodox 
body has now generally accepted the title of Orthodox, though unofficially, 
except in the case of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Some of the western Yearly 
Meetings have changed their name to " Friends' Church," but this alteration 
is generally disapproved of by the main body of Friends. 

2 " The Testimony of the Society of Friends on the Continent of America," 
New York, printed by Richard and George S. ^Yood, 1830 (p. 36). 

3 See note at beginning of chapter. 

4 "Few can estimate the value of H. C. Backhouse's labors in America, 
and the permanent results which have followed, and are still developing " 
(nearly twenty years later). ("Journal and Letters of H. C. Backhouse," 
P- 1 33-) 

282 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. vi. 

schools have been almost universal in this branch of the 
Society. Most of the schools use the International Les- 
sons, and all the Yearly Meetings except one have stand- 
ing committees whose duty it is to encourage and help the 
schools in the various localities.^ 

The separation had also the effect of arousing the lit- 
erary activity of the members. In Philadelphia Thomas 
Evans issued an "Exposition" of Friends' doctrines, dwell- 
ing chiefly on the testimony of the earliest Friends to the 
divinity of Christ and his salvation. He and his brother 
William soon after edited very ably a series of volumes 
entitled " Friends' Library," in which were reproduced, in 
a rather more modern form, the lives and writings of many 
of the early worthies of the Society. The work reached 
to fourteen volumes. About the time of the separation 
the weekly periodical known as "The Friend" (Philadel- 
phia) was established, and is now the oldest periodical 
published anywhere under the name of Friends. It rep- 
resents the conservative element of Philadelphia Yearly 
Meeting. There has been no appreciable change in its 
shape, size, or appearance during the sixty-four years of 
its existence. 

There was during this period a good deal of ministerial 
activity, and a number of ministers traveled up and down 
the country visiting the congregations of Friends, and also 
holding meetings to some extent with the public. Among 
these ministers was Stephen Grellet, "a modern apostle," 
as he has been termed, whose life is one of the most re- 
markable, not only among the preachers of his own de- 
nomination, but of all denominations in the present cent- 
ury.2 The influence of the traveling ministers can hardly 

1 Except in some points of method, these schools are very similar to the 
Sunday-schools of other denominations. 

2 See "Memoirs of Stephen Grellet," by Benjamin Seebohm, London and 
Philadelphia, i860. 


be overestimated. It served to maintain many a small 
congregation in hope and life, and also to arouse many 
who were not in membership, and though, owing to special 
reasons, there was little effort made to proselytize, yet the 
religious influence exerted by these preachers on persons 
outside the Society has been great. 

The chief influence exerted by the Friends, as it has 
been mentioned in regard to the organization, was in 
the careful and just lives of their members. The Quaker 
character became proverbial for probity, and it would be 
difficult to find any movement that promised on right lines 
to benefit man that had not received support from Friends 
to an extent out of all proportion to their numbers. 

We have seen how they liberated their slaves at a time 
when the consciences of the Christians of the country at 
large were quite asleep on the subject. Their efforts on 
behalf of the negro did not stop here, but they immediately 
began to try to influence society around them to see the 
iniquity of slavery. Their method was entirely moral 
suasion, and not political action ; and they confined them- 
selves to petitioning legislatures, to appeal, and to personal 
influence so far as the masters were concerned ; and in re- 
gard to the slaves, they refused to countenance the evil 
system in any way that they could possibly avoid. They 
would not hire slave labor. Many of them refused to buy 
slave grown or produced articles. When they saw any 
case of peculiar distress where families were being separated 
by being sold away from one another, the Friends as far 
as they could would buy them in, and then arrange for 
their freedom, the freed negro frequently, by working on 
part wages or by saving, repaying the money spent for 
him. Many of the Friends took great interest in the 
religious and intellectual development of this race, and 
in States where it was illegal for colored people to hold 

284 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. vi. 

gatherings without the presence of some white persons, 
they would not infrequently attend regularly, for the chief 
purpose of affording them an opportunity to hold meet- 
ings in their own way, though very often the Friends also 
would have something to say. Others, at the risk of im- 
prisonment if discovered, taught continuously through a 
series of years in night-schools for colored persons held 
privately for fear of detection. In these quiet ways, with 
great diligence and patience, the Friends labored in a 
movement entirely distinct from what is now known as the 
political abolition mo\ement. When this arose the body 
of Friends greatly regretted it, and for a number of years 
refused to sanction what they felt to be a movement with 
good purposes, but using methods inconsistent with the 
peaceable religion of Christ. Officially, none of the Yearly 
Meetings, so far as known, ever sanctioned any political 
party. Soon, however, the fire of the new crusade aroused 
many earnest Friends, and they began to sympathize and 
labor together with the abolitionists. This aroused even 
more opposition in the Orthodox than it had in the Hicks- 
ite ranks, and the current of feeling ran so high that in 
Indiana Yearly Meeting there was in 1835 a considerable 
secession from the main body, and a new organization was 
formed under the name of Indiana Yearly Meeting of 
Antislavery Friends. Their number was about 2000, and 
that of the main body 25,000. No lawsuits resulted, and 
the Orthodox body, which had been rather high-handed 
before the separation, seems to have quickly perceived its 
mistake, and to have practically abandoned the position 
that caused the separation. No other Yearly Meeting on 
the Continent recognized the new body. London Yearly 
Meeting, in which the sentiment in favor of antislavery 
was very strong, sent over a deputation to Indiana in 
hopes of reconciling the two bodies. Their action was 


not altogether appreciated by the antislavery Friends, but 
the effect desired was eventually brought about, and after 
ten years the new body formally dissolved, leaving its 
members free to act as they thought best. Of course 
some were lost to the Society, but many, perhaps most, 
of them quietly returned to the original organization, 
where they were received with open arms, and some of 
them became very prominent.^ 

About this time John Greenleaf Whittier came intoprom- 
inence as a true poet who had espoused the cause of the 
slave. There is no doubt that his thorough identification 
with the antislavery cause was a wonderful help to it, and 
that his influence helped to raise it above the immediate 
issues of the present and did much to make its advocates 
see that they were in line with the eternal movement of 
right. He was through all a Quaker and never advocated 
force. Besides his songs for freedom, perhaps no one has 
done more to make current the Quaker conception of 
Christianity.- He was born at Haverhill, Mass., 1807, and 
died at Hampton Falls, N. H., September 7, 1892. 
• A large majority of the Friends, at least in the North 
and West, voted for Lincoln in i860 as the representative 
of the party that advocated freedom, though at that time 
the idea of freedom in the States where slavery already 
existed was not contemplated. As the war drew on, not 
a few of the antislavery men and not a few Friends thor- 
oughly agreed with the position taken by Whittier and 
Garrison, that it would be better to stand by, " the sad 
spectators of a suicide," than to engage in fratricidal war. 
As a body. Friends of all parties endeavored to main- 
tain their ground in favor of peace. Whittier came out 

1 Hodgson, vol. ii., pp. 9-49. For an account of the English deputation's 
labors from an inside point of view, see " Memoirs of William Forster," 
vol. ii., pp. 193-210. 

2 See note, p. 280. 

286 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. vi. 

Strongly, in a poem addressed to the alumni of Friends' 
Boarding-school, Providence, telling them plainly that 
they cannot take the battle-brand, but that they are now to 
suffer for the sake of their principles as well as with their 
country, and must not expect that because they believe 
it is wrong to fight they are to be spared their share of 
sorrow. His manly words doubtless stirred many to re- 
newed faithfulness. But not a few felt the dilemma put 
by President Lincoln in a letter written by him to the 
widow of J. J. Gurney, then residing in New Jersey. After 
speaking of his appreciation of a visit she had paid him, 
and of her letter to him,^ he says : " Your people, the 
Friends, have had and are having a very great trial. On 
principle and faith opposed to both war and oppression, 
they can only practically oppose oppression by war. In 
this hard dilemma some have chosen one horn and some 
the other. For those appealing to me on conscientious 
grounds I have done and shall do the best I could and 
can, in my own conscience, under my oath to the law."^ 

E. P. Gurney in her reply to the President clearly and 
forcibly maintains the alternative that wrong is not to Ue 
set right by wrong. There were some in the Society who 
thought otherwise, and not a few of both branches were 
found in the army. It was a Hicksite Quaker who wrote 
the song " We are coming. Father Abram." A good deal 
has been said about the number of Friends in the army, 
but more than the occasion warrants. The pecuhar cus- 
tom which grew up of admitting the children of Friends 
as full members by right of birth, with all its undeniable 

1 The visit referred to was "a religious visit," in which E. P. Gurney 
gave him what she felt to be a message from the Lord. The letter was 
written at his request, and after his assassination was found in his breast- 

2 "Memoirs and Correspondence of Eliza P. Gurney," p. 317. The letter 
is given in facsimile. Original now in possession of the Pennsylvania His- 
torical Society. 


advantages had this drawback, that many who had never 
made any Christian profession were counted as Friends, 
and when these enHsted it was considered that they had 
forsaken their position, when in reahty many of them had 
nothing but a traditional position on the subject. In many 
cases those who enlisted were disowned by their meetings, 
in many others their acknowledgment of regret was ac- 
cepted, and in others no action was taken. On the other 
hand, there were numerous instances of persons who were 
faithful to their testimony for peace amid much that was 
painful. This was specially the case in the South, where 
the Friends refused in the face of positive persecution and 
much physical suffering to bear arms. None of them ab- 
solutely lost their lives, but on several occasions they were 
ordered to be shot, but the soldiers, impressed with their 
Christian courage and patience, refused to obey the com- 
mand. Some were deprived of food and drink, and sub- 
jected to many and humiliating punishments, but they 
remained firm. The Confederate Government created an 
exemption tax, which not a few paid, while others did not 
feel that such a course would be right, and chose rather to 
suffer. It was a noticeable fact that this firm stand on the 
part of the Friends resulted in North Carolina in an actual 
increase in membership, others being so deeply impressed 
with their faithfulness that they examined into their prin- 
ciples and joined them, although the exemption .privilege 
was not granted to new members. The close of the war 
found Friends more earnest in the promotion of peace, 
and they formed themselves into a Peace Association of 
Friends in America, which put lecturers into the field, and 
issued tracts, and soon started a monthly periodical, called 
" The Messenger of Peace." The Association was heartily 
sustained by the various Yearly Meetings, though after a 
number of years the interest in evangelization turned the 

288 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. vi. 

attention of Friends in other directions. More recently, 
however, it has shown new life, and has lately been incor- 
porated under the laws of Indiana, and is pressing the 
cause with more vigor. 

The Indians, Colored Population, etc. 

From the time of William Penn there has been great in- 
terest felt by Friends in the Indians, and on their part this 
much-injured people are said to have retained to this day 
their affection for and confidence in the Friends. So far as 
the records go to which there has been access, the Society 
has always maintained a kindly and just attitude toward 
them. The early history has already been alluded to. It 
remains to speak of this century. The various Yearly 
Meetings had schools and various mission interests among 
the Indians, which appear to have been measurably suc- 
cessful, especially as regards the general well-being of 
the tribes under their control, and whenever opportunity 
offered Friends were ready to appear on behalf of the red 
man before the government. That they undertook to any 
great extent the work of evangelization of the tribes does 
not appear. The history of the treatment of the Indians 
is clearly a blot on our national honor, so that a noted 
writer has well named the book which describes the history 
as "A Century of Dishonor."^ The following extract 
from President Grant's first Annual Message to Congress 
puts the whole matter concisely, and describes the reasons 
for the new plan which he inaugurated.- He writes : 
" From the foundation of the government to the present, 
the management of the original inhabitants of this conti- 
nent, the Indians, has been a subject of embarrassment and 

1 " A Century of Dishonor," by Helen Hunt Jackson. Boston, Roberts 
Brothers, 1885. 

2 " Message and Documents, 1869-70," p. 14. 


expense, and has been attended with continuous robberies, 
murders, and wars. From my own experience upon the 
frontiers and in Indian countries, I do not hold either legis- 
lation, or the conduct of the whites who come in contact 
with the Indian, blameless for these hostilities. The past, 
however, cannot be undone, and the question must be met 
as we now find it. I have attempted a new policy toward 
these wards of the nation (they cannot be regarded in any 
other light than as wards), with fair results so far as tried, 
and which I hope will be attended ultimately with great 
success. The Society of Friends is well known as having 
succeeded in living in peace with the Indians in the early 
settlement of Pennsylvania, while their white neighbors of 
other sects in other sections were constantly embroiled. 
They are also known for their opposition to all strife, vio- 
lence, and war, and are generally noted for their strict 
integrity and fair dealings. These considerations induced 
me to give the management of a few reservations of In- 
dians to them, and to lay the burden of the selection of 
agents upon the Society itself. The result has proven 
most satisfactory." 

In his message for 1870 President Grant further de- 
velops his plan and the underlying idea in his mind. He 
says: "The experiment of making it a missionary work 
was tried with a few agencies given to the denomination 
of Friends, and has been found to work most advanta- 
geously. . . . Indian agencies being civil offices, I deter- 
mined to give all the agencies to such religious denomina- 
tions as had heretofore established missionaries among the 
Indians, and perhaps to some other denominations who 
would undertake the work on the same terms, i.e., as a 
missionary work. The societies selected are allowed to 
name their own agents, subject to the approval of the Exec- 
utive, and are expected to watch over them and aid them 

290 THE FA'IEI\'DS. [Chap. vi. 

as missionaries, to Christianize and civilize the Indian, and 
to train him in the arts of peace. ... I entertain the con- 
fident hope that the pohcy now pursued will, in a few 
years, bring all the Indians upon reservations, where they 
will live in houses, have schoolhouses and churches, and 
will be pursuing self-sustaining avocations, and where they 
may be visited by the law-abiding white man with the same 
impunity that he now visits the civilized white settle- 

This inauguration of a new and honest and Christian 
policy on the part of the government toward the Indians 
is one of the brightest parts of President Grant's adminis- 
tration. The exact plan as he marked it out has not been 
pursued by his successors, but the impetus it gave to the 
cause of the Indian and the far-reaching results that have 
since been attained may be said to date their rise from 
the action of the President as described in these messages. 
It is not too much to claim that the enlightened policy cf 
William Penn, adopted from conscientious adherence to the 
principles of peace and justice — a policy followed faithfully 
by those who came after him — was the direct influence 
that moved President Grant in the adoption of his policy. 
His practical eye had seen the failure of injustice, greed, 
and war, and had seen the success of justice and peace, 
and he chose the latter. 

The Society of Friends in its various branches — for both 
Orthodox and Hicksites were engaged in the work, though 
independently of each other — continued to do their share 
of work for the Indians in connection with the government 
for about fifteen years, their last agent having withdrawn 
in 1885. The accounts of all the agents nominated by 
Friends were honorably settled. " In every case where 
suits have been brought against them in the United States 
1 "Annual Message, etc.," vol. i., p. 17. 



courts, our Friends have been honorably acquitted, and 
the cost thrown upon the government."^ 

The v.'Ork in connection with the government having 
ceased, only served to turn the attention of Friends more 
particularly to the subject of evangelization among the 
Indians, which they have carried out ever since with in- 
creasing success, so that there now are four hundred and 
twenty members of the Orthodox Society among the 
Indians, with four monthly meetings. 

Perhaps the most wonderful instance of the power of 
kind Christian treatment over the untamed savage is shown 
in the history of the Modocs. After they were conquered 
they were taken directly from the lava beds, where they 
had made such a desperate stand, and put under the peace- 
ful care of the Friends. The change that soon came over 
their wild natures was marvelous. Steamboat Frank, who 
had been a terror to his enemies, was not only converted, 
but became in a comparatively short time a minister of the 
gospel among Friends, and an evangelist of real power and 
efTectiveness. He so firmly adopted the principles of peace 
that he vv'ould not bear a deadly weapon even as an officer 
of the peace, and once when his brother was unjustly struck 
down beside him by a white man, he simply remarked that 
there had been a time when he would in an instant have 
slain the aggressor, but that now he was of a different 
spirit. He died a few years since, while in Portland, Me., 
whither he had gone to attend the Yearly Meeting of 
Friends for New England. The history of the success 
that the Friends have had with the Indians, as well as 

1 Report of Committee on Indian Affairs. See Baltimore Yearly Meeting 
Minutes, 1886, p. 39. At one time Friends (Orthodox) had a Superintendent 
of Indian Affairs, eight Indian Agents, and eighty-five other members acting 
as employees under the government. Their influence was active, 
and it is safe to state that hundreds of Indians came through their efforts to 
a character-changing faith in Christ. 

292 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. vi. 

the success attained by other denominations, is a standing 
proof that the Indians, after all these generations of wrong 
treatment at the hands of the stronger race, are still open 
to kindness and justice. In all movements for the protec- 
tion and advancement of the Indian those who are work- 
ing have the solid support of members of the Society of 
Friends, both Hicksite and Orthodox. 

Friends have also continued their interest in and labor 
for the negro, but in this respect have hardly come up to 
what might have been expected from them after their 
earlier labors on their behalf. It would have been supposed 
that of all the others they would have been foremost to 
establish missions and labor among them, but this has not 
been the case. However, they have done a good deal. 
Southland College, Arkansas, has for years been doing a 
patient, steady, and successful work, and has turned out 
many who have been able as teachers and in other ways 
to raise their fellow-people. Friends in the North have 
missions in Tennessee and North Carolina, and various 
institutions not under the care of Friends are, we under- 
stand, assisted by them. Not very many of this race have 
joined the Society, though there are some who have done 
so, and a few become ministers among them. We believe 
this statement applies only to the Orthodox. At the time 
of the "exodus" from the South into Kansas, Elizabeth 
L. Comstock, a leading minister in the Society, was at the 
head of a large part of the work of distributing relief. 

PJiilantJiropy, Education, etc. 

In regard to general labor for the advancement of the 
poor. Friends have been more in the habit of uniting with 
others than in carrying on independent work of their 
own. As a rule they have been conspicuous for their solid 
sense and steadiness of purpose, and have been rather 


the stalwart supporters of movements than the ones who 
appeared before the public as leaders. They have been 
stronger in council than in the brilliant exercise of gifts, 
and in plain practical common sense than in the graceful 
accomplishments. For this reason superficial observers 
have often overlooked the service done by Friends to the 
various movements. They have not seldom given the 
needed suggestion at the right time. Thus it is said to 
have been a Friend who was the means of starting Father 
Matthew on his great temperance work-in Ireland. The 
modern idea of fresh-air funds and free sanitariums for sick 
children during the summer months is not new among 
Friends. The Annual Association of Women Friends for 
the Relief of Sick Children in the Summer Season was in 
full running order in Philadelphia in the summer of 1849, 
with a corps of nine physicians, ready to furnish free ex- 
cursions by rail or steamboat, and in extreme cases to pro- 
cure free board in the country for mothers with their sick 
infants.^ Later the work of Sarah Smith in the Indiana 
penitentiary, where she was for many years matron, must 
not be overlooked. She was one of the band of noble 
women who demonstrated that to treat criminals kindly 
and as human beings should be treated was not only 
humane, but eminently the wise thing to do for their ref- 

The interest of the Hicksites in the cause of temperance 
has been noted, and the Orthodox have not been behind 
them. Every Yearly Meeting has special committees on 
the subject, and, with perhaps no exception, the Disciplines 
of all make the manufacture or the sale of intoxicating 
liquors as a beverage a disownable offense. The Western 
Yearly Meetings are particularly earnest in the cause of 
the absolute prohibition of the traffic. 

1 " Friends' Review," Philadelphia, " fifth mo. 26th, 1S49," vol. ii., p. 576. 

294 ^-^^^' FRIENDS. [Chap. vi. 

The interest of Friends in education developed earl}^ 
and while they did not produce great scholars, they were 
able to keep the average educational standard of their 
members at a higher level than that of the community 
around them. This, with their strict moral discipline, made 
them generally persons of considerable influence in every 
neighborhood where they were found. New York Yearly 
Meeting opened the first boarding-school for Friends' 
children at Nine Partners, Dutchess Co., N. Y., in 1796. 
It was for children of both sexes. Moral training was 
made primary, and intellectual training secondary. After 
the separation it remained in the hands of the Orthodox 
Friends. About thirty years ago it was moved to Union 
Springs, N. Y., and is now in a flourishing condition, after 
having gone through many vicissitudes. 

The next movement, three years later (1799) v/as the 
establishment of a boarding-school at Westtown,^ Chester 
County, Pa., by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, on an estate 
of six hundred acres. It was also for both sexes. The 
school has exercised for nearly a century very wide and 
deep influence upon Friends of Philadelphia and Baltimore 
Yearly Meetings. The teaching is most thorough and 
the discipline strict. At the separation it remained in the 
hands of the Orthodox. During the past ten years very 
handsome new buildings, with all modern improvements, 
have been erected. 

In 1819 New England Yearly Meeting, influenced 
largely by the philanthropist Moses Brown, who had for 
years labored to establish such a school, and had given 
valuable land in Providence, R. I., for the purpose, opened 

1 It is not generally known that the establishment of this school was largely 
due to the celebrated John Dickinson, the author of " The Farmer's Letters," 
member of the Continental Congress, etc. He and his wife contributed to 
its endowment. (" Life and Times of John Dickinson," C. J. Stille, Philadel- 
phia, 1891, pp. 328, 329.) 


" Friends' Boarding-school." This has been exceedingly 
successful, and has been to New England what Westtown 
has been to Pennsylvania. It is coeducational, and has in 
recent years become very liberal in its policy, so that many 
of its students are not Friends; Moses Brown, above 
mentioned, was also one of the greatest benefactors of 
Brown University, and through his influence the charter 
provides that a certain proportion of the trustees, who 
are chosen from various religious denominations, shall be 

Soon after the separation of 1827-28 the subject of more 
advanced education claimed the attention of Orthodox 
Friends, with the result of establishing Haverford School, 
in 1833, at Haverford, Pa. After several years of success- 
ful operation it had pecuniary difficulties and was closed 
for about three years, but was reopened in 1 848. Though 
having a collegiate course, it did not apply for a charter as a 
college until 1856, being the first institution of the Society 
to assume that position. It is under the control of a cor- 
poration all the members of which must be Friends. It 
is, however, almost unsectarian in its teaching. It ranks 
high among the smaller colleges of the country. Among 
its professors have been Thomas Chase, of the American 
Company of Revisers of the New Testament, and an editor 
of a number of the classics, and also J. Rendel Harris, who 
during his professorship discovered the long-lost "Apology 
of Aristides " in the convent on Mount Sinai." 

The Friends of North Carolina opened New Garden 
Boarding-school in 1837. The great prejudice against 
Friends on account of their antislavery principles made 
the work difficult. The school was conducted during the- 

1 See" Sketch of Moses Brown, "by Augustine Jones, principal of Friends' 
Boarding-school, Providence, 1893. 

2 The college is residuary legatee, on the death of the widow, of an estate 
of over half a million of dollars left by the late Jacob P. Jones of Philadelphia. 

296 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. vi. 

whole Civil War on a gold basis, and came out without 
embarrassment, and without having missed a class — a rec- 
ord which from a financial as well as an educational point 
of view was probably unique in the South during that 
period. In 1888 the school was raised to the rank of a 
college, and is now known as Guilford College. It is 

The Friends in the West were somewhat later in the 
establishment of boarding-schools. In 1847 oi'^e was es- 
tablished, under the care of Indiana Yearly Meeting, near 
Richmond, Ind., which in 1859 was chartered as Earlham 
College. It is in a flourishing condition, under the joint 
control of Indiana and W^estern Yearly Meetings. Wil- 
mington College, Wilmington, O., was opened 1871, and 
Penn College, Oskaloosa, la., in 1873. Both these are 
doing good work. In addition to these is Pacific College, 
Newberg, Ore. (1891), and Pickering College, Pickering, 
Ont., Canada, recently reopened. 

A very important college for women was founded at 
Bryn Mawr, Pa., 1885, in accordance with the will of 
Dr. Joseph W. Taylor, a Friend of Burlington, N. J. By its 
charter all the trustees are required to be members of the 
Society of Friends (Orthodox). It is thoroughly equipped, 
and is the most advanced college for women in the country. 
It pursues a very liberal course, and can hardly be classed 
as a denominational college. 

There are many schools and academies under the con- 
trol of Friends which cannot be named. As with the 
Hicksites, the Orthodox have taken great interest in edu- 
cational matters, and in 1877 an important and influential 
conference on education was held at Baltimore, which was 
followed by others in 1880, 1881, 1883, 1888; in addition 
to these, local conferences have frequently been held. 



The great awakening of the separation was not lost, and 
the body came more and more into something of the spirit 
of the earlier age. The progress was, however, slow at 
first, and the casual observer would have noticed but little 
change. As to numbers, the Society in different parts of 
the country presented very different aspects. In the East 
generally there was for over thirty years a steady decline, 
the chief cause being emigration. In New England the 
attractions of the West were peculiarly enticing to the 
practical-minded Friend. The failure of the whale fisheries 
of Nantucket and New Bedford led to a very general exo- 
dus.^ Emigration acted as a less important factor in New 
York and Pennsylvania, but farther south another cause 
operated with great force. The many disabilities that 
Friends suffered in slaveholding States from their faithful 
adherence to their position that it was wrong to hold 
fellow-beings in sla\'ery were a great drag upon them. It 
was exceedingly difficult — in fact, often impossible — to 
procure free labor, especially in the country districts. In 
these same localities manual labor was by a false public 
sentiment considered degrading, so that those who from 
conscientious grounds had to do such work themselves were 
obliged to take a lower position in society than the one to 
w^hich they really belonged. Their position also placed 

1 On the Lsland of Nantucket there were fifty years since about twelve 
hundred Friends ; there are now (1894) hardly a dozen of any branch. 


298 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. vii. 

increasing difficulties in their way in engaging in business, 
and also rendered them objects of suspicion to their slave- 
holding neighbors, who resented their opposition to the 
"peculiar institution," and often suspected them of aiding 
negroes to escape — a suspicion far better founded as re- 
gards Friends north of Mason and Dixon's line than south 
of it. To the Friends living in such an uncongenial at- 
mosphere the free West appeared as a land of promise, and 
a steady exodus soon set in. The Society from this cause 
died out in South Carolina, and was so greatly reduced in 
Virginia that in 1845 Virginia Yearly Meeting was sus- 
pended and joined to Baltimore Yearly Meeting. This 
latter body, small to begin with (after the separation), had 
also suffered from the same cause, so that the two joined 
were still the smallest Yearly Meeting in the world. The 
same state of things existed in North Carolina, and at one 
time it seemed as if there were risk of that Yearly Meeting 
being lost. Sometimes whole congregations would emi- 
grate in a body, so that one instance has been known where 
the same church organization remained in force, the same 
officers continuing to act in the new settlement as they had 
done in the old home. 

Another cause of the diminution in numbers was the 
strict enforcement of the Discipline and prompt disown- 
ment of members for comparatively slight offenses. To 
marry a non-member or by any other religious ceremony 
than that of Friends was a disownable offense on the ground 
that it recognized what was called, in the rather severe 
language of the Society in that day, a " hireling " ministry. 
Many other things that would now be esteemed trivial, but 
which had had, at the beginning at least, a foundation in 
some principle that was deemed important, were made the 
cause for expulsion from the Society. That the denomi- 
nation should have lived at all through such restrictions, 


especially as it was not thought right to use any efforts to 
obtain new members, is a striking evidence of the power 
that was in the body. Increase of spiritual life would 
at first tend to increase the activity in the support of the 
Discipline, till as the life grew the power that was present 
gradually caused unnecessary restrictions to be laid aside 
and others to be modified. 

Still another cause of decline in numbers was that there 
were greater attractions for many in a life of more con- 
formity with the ways of ordinary persons, so that not a 
few left from their own free will. Again, the position of 
Friends on a variety of subjects of doctrine and practice 
was so unlike that of the other denominations about them 
that it required the courage of one's convictions to with- 
stand the weight of public opinion. When all these rea- 
sons are taken into consideration, the wonder is rather 
that so many remained, and not that there was a decline. 

The picture presented in the West during this period 
was in several respects very different. While the East was 
losing by emigration, the West was gaining. The meet- 
ings in Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa soon became large and 
flourishing. For a long time fully as great strictness pre- 
vailed as in the East, and there was the same readiness to 
" disown," but the circumstances were different. The 
country was new and thinly settled at first, and there were 
fewer temptations to worldliness. Again, the Friends set- 
tled largely in communities, so that in many cases they 
would form the bulk of the population, and in this way 
public opinion would be with them. Their growth was 
large, and new Yearly Meetings were set up. Ohio had 
been set off in 18 12 from Baltimore; Indiana from Ohio 
in 182 1. In 1857 Western (comprising western and south- 
ern portions of Indiana, and eastern Illinois) was set off ; 
Iowa in 1863, and Kansas in 1872. All these were es- 

300 THE FRIENDS. ' [Chap. vii. 

tablished from Indiana Yearly Meeting, which also set off 
Wilmington Yearly Meeting, of southwestern Ohio, in 
189.2. Iowa Yearly Meeting in 1893 set off the Yearly 
Meeting of Oregon, and at present writing there is a pros- 
pect of one being established in California. About two 
thirds of all the Friends in the world are in the United 
States west of the Alleghanies. 

It must not be concluded that the decrease in member- 
.ship in the East continued. Since 1865 a new life has 
appeared there also, and in New York and New England 
the decrease has stopped and an increase is noted, espe- 
cially in the former. North Carolina has about trebled 
its membership, and Baltimore nearly doubled. This has 
been notwithstanding the continual loss through emigra- 
tion, and the fact of a comparatively low birth-rate. 

In 1867 Canada Yearly Meeting was set off from New 
York. It was considered an interesting fact that during 
the time of the holding of its first session the " Dominion 
of Canada" was inaugurated.^ 

Great changes have taken place since the tide has turned, 
and Friends have become an aggressive, growing body, 
instead of a diminishing one. The peculiar cut of dress 
and the " plain " language of " thee " and " thou " have 
been discarded, as having no religious value for the pres- 
ent age. 2 

The numerical names for months and days are still al- 

1 Settlements of Friends in Canada were made from Pennsylvania, New 
Jersey, and New York during the latter part of the eighteenth century. For 
a time under the care of both Philadelphia and of New York Yearly Meet- 
ings, they were finally joined to the latter, with which they were incorporated 
until 1867. Some Friends near the New York line were retained when those 
of the Canadian meetings were set off. 

2 Not a few continue to use the " thee " and the " thou " in their families, 
and to their intimate Friends, partly for old association and partly in the way 
the French and Germans do, as a sign of the familiarity of friendship. Phil- 
adelphia Yearly Meeting continues to lay stress on the old form of dress and 



most universally used by Friends in their official language 
and in their records, but the practice of using them in 
ordinary conversation is rapidly dying out. There has 
also been a considerable relaxation in the Discipline. 
Many old rules have been either annulled or allowed to 
become a dead letter. In this change there may be a 
question whether there is not a risk of going to the other 
extreme, but nevertheless there is a great deal of care in 
respect to daily living. But the attitude of the meeting 
and its officers has long ceased to be one of judging with 
a view to cutting off the offender, and is now one of en- 
couragement toward the weak and the restoration of those 
who are astray. As soon as this feeling became general 
the rapid decline in numbers ceased. 

Friends during the past thirty years have reawakened 
to the fact that one of the main duties of the Christian 
Church is to carry the gospel to those who do not know it. 
Almost every Yearly Meeting is pervaded with the sense 
that this is the great object toward which every avenue of 
work is to contribute. Everything is now chiefly judged 
from the simple point of view as to whether it will tend to 
the spread of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and the building 
up of believers. From being one of the most traditional 
of all bodies Friends have come to believe that the essen- 
tial spirit of Quakerism is freedom, and so traditionalism 
is now one of their greatest fears. The simplicity of their 
organization, the freedom in their meetings for worship to 
any one to take vocal part under what is felt to be the 
guidance of the Spirit, each one being subject to the judg- 
ment of the rest, allows flexibility and variety of service 
and the development of individual gifts. In not a few 
instances their freedom from an established order of clergy 
has been found to be the means of inspiring confidence. 
The fact that the Quaker boy or girl is impressed with 

302 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. vii. 

the thought that without forsaking usual duties or going 
through a college training he or she may be at any time 
called upon by the Lord to preach gives an added dignity 
to the ordinary life. . And the practice of silent united 
worship as the basis upon which meetings are held, where 
it is appreciated tends to cause the worshiper to seek the 
Lord directly, and thus strengthens religious character. 

The change of front has been truly marvelous, and has 
on the whole been accomplished with very little friction. 
A number of leading ministers and others a few years since 
sought to change the position of the Society on the subject 
of baptism and the Supper. This was especially the case 
in Ohio, which Yearly Meeting in 1886 refused to make 
the subject in any way a test matter. All the other Yearly 
Meetings took prompt action, declaring it incompatible for 
any one who observed them or advocated the use of these 
ordinances to remain in the position of minister or elder. 
This rule was by no means strictly enforced, but the gen- 
eral sentiment of the Society supported it, and the matter 
soon ceased to be a burning question. This result was 
thought to have been greatly helped by the calling of a 
conference of Yearly Meetings at Richmond, Ind., in 1887. 
This assemblage was unique, being the first, and probably for 
many years the last, of the kind. Delegates from all Yearly 
Meetings, except on the continent of Europe and in Austral- 
asia, were present. Those from Philadelphia were unofficial. 
It lasted for three days and accomplished a vast amount of 
work. The most important of its actions were the issu- 
ing of a " Declaration of Faith " and the suggestions for 
a stated conference to be held at regular intervals. The 
" Declaration " consisted largely of extracts from standard 
writings, and is too diffuse and general in its statements 
to be regarded as a rigid creed ; nevertheless, it much more 


nearly approaches one than any of the Declarations that 
have preceded it, and the change in its tone and emphasis 
over former ones is very marked. It conforms much more 
nearly to the standards of ordinary evangelical denomina- 
tions. As might have been expected from the fact that 
baptism and the Supper were the questions then at issue, 
the space occupied in the consideration of these topics is 
disproportionately large. While it. acknowledges the dis- 
tinguishing views of Friends on the universality of the 
operation of the Spirit of Christ, it tends to pass them 
over. It states the Quaker doctrine of peace, and against 
oaths, etc., clearly and well, states in guarded language 
the doctrines of future rewards and punishments, and, of 
course, reaffirms the deity of Christ and salvation through 
him. The " Declaration " met with strong opposition in 
England, and London Yearly Meeting took no action on it. 
New England and Ohio took essentially the same position. 
Dublin, New York, and Baltimore gave a general approval 
of it without adopting it. The other Yearly Meetings in 
the United States adopted it. This variety of action in no 
way altered the official relations of the Yearly Meetings, 
for the action of the conference was only advisory and not 

After this the subject of baptism and the Supper became 
of secondary interest and was overshadowed by that of the 
ministry. With the increase of religious life and evangel- 
izing zeal not only had old congregations taken on new 
growth and activity, but many new congregations had 
been formed. To accomplish this many methods formerly 
unknown among Friends were in various places brought 
into use, such as congregational singing, and the employ- 
ment of methods more or less similar to those so familiar 
among the Methodists. Persons brought rapidly into the 

304 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. vii. 

Society and with very little knowledge of the methods of 
Friends or instruction in them were found not to under- 
stand their unconventional ways. With the intense zeal 
for new converts that had now taken hold of the Society, 
it often seemed simpler to adapt the meetings to the crude 
ideas of the converts rather than to adopt the slov/er pro- 
cess of educating them, and in this way in many places 
in the West and some in the East very decided changes 
began to show themselves. Most noticeable of these was 
the introduction of "pastors," who were at first expected 
to give their whole time to looking after the congregation, 
and preaching, but not in any way to the exclusion of the 
rest, or even necessarily always to preach. In order to 
enable them to do this a very slight support was afforded 
them. This change came very quietly, and has never yet 
become general. In Iowa, Oregon, Western, and Ohio 
Yearly Meetings the method has attained wide acceptance, 
and in the first three may be regarded as the settled policy 
of the body. There is at present none of it in Philadelphia 
and Baltimore, and but very little in North Carolina and 
New England. In the other Yearly Meetings it prevails 
to a greater extent, but by no means universally. It has 
given rise to much discussion, generally carried on in a 
very Christian spirit. The movement attained strength 
so rapidly that it appeared as if the front of the Society 
would be permanently and universally changed ; but the 
opposition continues, and in the last year or two there have 
been signs of a reaction in various quarters, and there seem 
to be grounds for the expectation that the final outcome 
will be something more nearly akin to the original basis of 
the Society than is at present seen in the development o^ 
the " pastoral system," under which in a few places pre- 
arranged services with choir singing and music, etc., have 
come into vogue. 

CONFERENCE OF 1892. 305 

It is too soon to say how far this reaction will extend. 
It was probably started by the conference held in Octo- 
ber of 1892 at Indianapolis. This conference was sug- 
gested by the one held in Richmond, Ind., five years pre- 
viously, A proposition for an authoritative conference was 
made later by Kansas Yearly Meeting, but not accepted. 
Finally a committee of the various Yearly Meetings met 
at Oskaloosa at the time of Iowa Yearly Meeting in 1891 
and issued a recommendation for a conference. 

This was accepted by the various Yearly Meetings on 
the Continent, except Canada, yet not fully as to details, 
most of the Yearly Meetings not considering themselves 
bound to continue to send delegates to future conferences 
unless it seemed best. Baltimore instructed its delegates not 
to take part in voting in case any question should be settled 
in that way.^ The conference was unlike any that preceded 
it in the fact that the representation to it was in proportion 
to the membership of the respective Yearly Meetings, and 
unlike the one of 1887 in having no representatives from 
Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, and Philadelphia. In this 
conference the great question was that of " pastoral labor," 
and a minute on the subject was adopted. The delegates 
from Baltimore, most of those from North Carolina, and a 
number from Kansas objected to the minute on the ground 
of its indorsement of the appointment of pastors, which they 
felt was a serious interference with the true liberty of the 
membership, with spiritual worship, and with development 
of Christian character. Probably, however, the strongest 
weapon used against the " pastoral movement " was forged 
by those who favored it, for in the course of the discussion 
the real meaning of it was brought out, and it was stated 
without contradiction that it placed the ministry on a 

1 As a matter of fact, no question was decided by vote during the confer- 

3o6 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. vii. 

financial basis and meant a professional class. These state- 
ments attracted a great deal of attention and comment, and 
brought a number to think that the time to review their 
position had come. The reaction is, however, but slight, 
and probably is not found in those places where the system 
has attained its fullest development. It is an interesting 
fact that statistics of growth in the Society do not bear out 
the claim that the increase in numbers has been in propor- 
tion to the adoption of the "pastoral methods." In the 
East certainly the proportional increase has been greatest 
in those meetings (excluding Philadelphia, where special 
conditions prevail) where there have been the fewest 
innovations of this kind. In the West there has been 
great growth in some places under it, and in other places 

In the field of evangelization Friends have been most 
successful, especially in the West. Their work has by no 
means been confined to their own denomination, but they 
have gladly labored for others and in union with other de- 
nominations. Although they have become a proselyting 
body, they are still remarkable for their freedom from 
jealousy of others and readiness to encourage converts to 
join whatever denomination of Christians they may feel 
will be most helpful to them. 

Increasing attention is being paid to education and to 
the spreading of the doctrines of Friends and to building 
up of consistent character. Probably at no time since the 
first founders of the Society passed away has there been 
such general healthful Christian experience in the Society, 
so much zeal, and so much growth. In places where the 
system of having a "pastor" is not used, the pastoral work 
is sought to be accomplished by committees composed of 
the more spiritually minded .of the members, and this is 
often followed by most excellent results. 


Foreign Missions. 

With increased interest in home work the interest in the 
foreign field has also been aroused. Though in the earlier 
part of their history Friends were foremost in this work, 
during the next century their activity in this line of labor 
almost ceased. Early in the present century, such men 
as James Backhouse and George Washington Walker, of 
England, and later Daniel Wheeler undertook long and 
important journeys in Africa, Australia, and the South 
Sea Islands. Toward the middle of the century Eli and 
Sybil Jones, of Maine, both of them ministers of remark- 
able power, visited Africa, and in 1865 Syria. They were 
the means of starting a mission on Mount Lebanon and 
one at Ramallah, not very far from Jerusalem. The former 
is now under the care of English Friends, who were much 
earlier in the field of systematic mission work than Amer- 
ican Friends, and the latter is under the care of New Eng- 
land Yearly Meeting aided by other Yearly Meetings. The 
work of foreign missions has extended, and now nearly all 
the Yearly Meetings have special committees on the sub- 
ject, and in addition to this there has been formed the 
Woman's Foreign Missionary Union of Friends, which is an 
active body having branches in most of the Yearly Meet- 
ings. The conference of 1892 proposed the establishment 
of a central Board of Foreign Missions, whose duties should 
be to give information and promote unity of action on the 
part of the different Yearly Meetings rather than to act 
as a controlling force. A sufficient number of Yearly 
Meetings have agreed to this to cause it to be established, 
and steps looking to this end are being taken. 

Lack of space forbids even a resume of the missions, but 
in Japan, Syria, Mexico, and Alaska are flourishing mission 
stations, while to the missions of the English Friends in 

308 THE FRIENDS. [Chap. vii. 

Syria, China, India, and Madagascar substantial aid is ex- 
tended, and individuals have gone to the Congo State and 
elsewhere. A monthly paper, called the " Friends' Mis- 
sionary Advocate," is also published. In addition to this 
many Friends are much interested in the McCall missions 
in France. 

It is believed that the Orthodox Friends are the only 
ones who are engaged in organized foreign mission work. 

In the foregoing sketch it will have been seen that the 
Friends acquired, through much suffering, first toleration, 
and then freedom both in civil and religious matters, not 
only for themselves but for all men. Some have thought 
that their mission is ended, but there still seems to be need 
of them to emphasize the non-essentiality of ordinance and 
ritual, the spirituahty of true worship, the direct communi- 
cation of the will of God to the individual, and the priest- 
hood of all believers. 

Statistics of Membership, United States Census, 1890. 

Friends (Orthodox) 80,655 

" (Hicksite) 21,992 

" (Wilburite) 4,329 

" (Primitive) 232 

Total 107,208 


Archdale, John, 226. 

Barclay's "Apology," 201. 

Bible, views of, 203. 

Bible schools, 281. 

Burnyeat, John, 212, 216, 219, 221. 

Carolinas, 225. 

Civil War, 286. 

Colleges, 278, 295, 296. 

Conferences, 1887, 1892, 302, 305. 

Connecticut, 213. 

Creeds, Friends have none, 200. 

Declarations of faith, 200 fT., 302. 

Declension in eighteenth century, 236. 

Decline in numbers, 298. 

Discipline, rise of, 196 fT.; strictness 

in, 237; relaxation in, 301. 
Distinctive views, 201 fF. 
Disturbing public worship, 186. 
Edmundson,Wm., 212, 217, 219, 225. 
Education, Hicksites, 276; Orthodox, 

Elders, 179. 

Emigration to the West, 297. 
Epistles, 174, 175. 
Fell, Margaret, 191. 
Fox, George, 183-190, 203, 216, 219, 

221, 225, 226. 
Friends, rise of the Society, 188 ff. 
Gurney, Joseph John, 265. 
Hicks, Elias, 249 fT. 
Hicksites, the, 248, head-note, 274 fF. ; 

doctrine, 279. 
Increase in numbers, 301. 
Indians, 221, 230, 241, 288-292. 
Keith schism, 201, 232. 
Light, the Inner, 190-193. 
Lincoln, Abraham, 286. 
London Yearly Meeting, 199. 
Marriage, 203. 
Maryland, 220 flf. 
Meetings for Business, 176, 182, 196; 

for Worship, 202, 302. 
Membership, birthright, 240. 
Ministers, 180, 182, 193, 202. 

Missionary zeal, 188. 

Missions, foreign, 307.. 

Mott, Lucretia, 275. 

Negroes, 292. 

New Jersey, 223 fT. 

New York, 214-218. 

Oaths, 193. 

Organization, 173-182. 

Orthodox, the, 253, 280. 

Overseers, 179. 

" Pastors " and pastoral system, 304. 

Peace Association, 287. 

Penn, Wm., and New Jersey, 223; 
and Indians, 241 ; and Pennsyl- 
vania, 227 fT. 

Perrot, John, schism of, 197, 198, 
219, 221. 

Persecutions, in England, 204 ; in 
Connecticut, 213; in Maryland, 
220; in Massachusetts, 206-210; 
in New York, 215 ; in Virginia, 218. 

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 232. 

Primitive Friends, 272. 

Revival methods, 303. 

Revolution, American, 246. 

Rhode Island, 211. 

Separation, of 1827-28, 248-264; 
Wilburite, 264-270. 

Slaves and slavery, 243, 283. 

"Steeple-houses," 186. 

Temperance, 276, 293. 

Virginia, 218, 219. 

Whittier, John G., 280, note, 285. 

Wilbur, John, 266. 

Wilburites, the, 248, head-note, 266, 
271 fT. 

Williams, Roger, 212. 

Women as preachers, 195, 202 ; posi- 
tion in the Society, 177, 194; meet- 
ings for, 199. 

Woolman, John, 245. 

Worship, 202, 302. 

Yearly Meetings, names of, 173, note; 
set up, 299. 


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